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Influencers Slowly Becoming New Sources Of News Leaving Journalists Behind
TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration - RC291W90XKYC

Influencers Slowly Becoming New Sources Of News Leaving Journalists Behind

Influencers and celebrities on TikTok are continuously taking the place of journalists as the main source of news for young people. This is according to a report published on Wednesday by the Britain-based Reuters Institute.

According to the report, at least 55% of TikTok and Snapchat users and 52% of Instagram users get their news from ‘personalities’.

This is compared to the 33-42% who get news from mainstream media and journalists on those platforms most popular among the young.

These figures came from interviews with some 94,000 people across 46 countries conducted for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

“While mainstream journalists often lead conversations around news in Twitter and Facebook, they struggle to get attention in newer networks like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok,” the report said.

An example of a personality cited by the report’s lead author Nic Newman is Britain’s Matt Welland. Mr. Welland apparently discusses current affairs and daily life on TikTok for his 2.8 million subscribers.

“Or it could be a celebrity like a footballer talking about a topical news event,” he told AFP, such as footballer Marcus Rashford’s 2020 campaign to get free school meals for children from poor families.

He further said news is not just the traditional focus on politics and international relations for young people.

He said for the young, it is anything new that is happening in any walk of life. Sports, entertainment, celebrity gossip, current affairs, culture, arts, and technology among other things.

Facebook is still the leading source of news among social media networks worldwide, but its influence is dropping rapidly. 28% say they get their news from the social media platform, compared to 2016’s 42%.

TikTok now reaches 44% of 18-24-year-olds. 20% get their news from the app, up by 5% from last year.

Traditional news outlets are now majorly challenged by the falling number of people who visit their websites directly.

This is completely bad news for news media firms reliant on subscribers and ad revenue. The report found that 39% of subscribers had canceled or renegotiated subscriptions. So majority are focused more on influencers and celebrities.

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