The changing face of news consumption in the UK

Powered by Harris 24

Lee Langford

With the sun setting so quickly on the New Day, the UK’s first standalone national newspaper in 30 years (it lasted less than 3 months after launching on February 29), Harris Interactive set out to investigate why print media is in apparent freefall in the UK. We polled a representative sample of 500+ adults aged 18+ using Harris 24 and in less than 3 hours we had our answer.

When it comes to the sources people are using to follow news content, it is probably no surprise that television is top overall, however social media is the number one medium for millennials (18-34 year olds). And whilst printed newspapers remain relatively popular with men and older consumers, only 47% of women and 39% of millennials have accessed news in this way in the last 12 months.


Television remains the most important news source for all demographics and social media ranks 2nd most important for women and millennials. For these two sub-groups, printed newspapers are highly unlikely to be most important.
This perhaps helps to explain why the New Day, which was reported to have younger women as its key target audience, struggled to sell in the required volumes.


It is clear also that women and millennials tend to have different news priorities to their male and older counterparts. Women rank crime and politics in their top 5 categories. Millennials also favour crime reports and rank celebrity gossip much higher than other demographics. Sport, which is a key news topic for men and older consumers, does not even make it into millennials’ top 10 selections.


Summing up, the way in which the UK public sources news content has evolved in recent years and this pattern looks set to continue as millennials, who have initiated the shift from TV and print to social and digital news, mature and their habits become more mainstream.

A fuller report is available to download from our website here.

This study was conducted to demonstrate how quickly and effectively Harris 24 can gauge consumer opinions – in this case 500+ responses in around 3 hours with the survey launching at 5pm, closing at 8pm and the results immediately available.

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