TikTok video news grows amid doubts about funding

Jul 01, 2024 at 04:00 pm by admin

Despite Meta’s protestations, almost half of Australians told a University of Canberra study they accessed news via social media, with TikTok and Instagram Reels news videos “becoming increasingly popular”.

The findings – along with Australians’ concern about online mis and disinformation – are contained in the country’s Digital News Report, produced by the university’s news and media research centre and coordinated by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, based at Oxford University. 

Concern about online misinformation in Australia rose from 65 per cent in 2016 to 75 per cent in 2024 and is well above the global average of 54 per cent. Trust in news fell three percentage points to 40 per cent, but remains within the long-term trend, hovering in the low 40s. Distrust in news continues to rise, up eight percentage points at 33 per cent. 

Almost 60 per cent of Australians are uncomfortable with the use of AI to produce news, a figure comparatively higher than consumers in most other countries (44 per cent on average). They are “more at ease with journalism produced mainly by humans with AI assistance, than journalism primarily created by AI with human oversight”.

Journalistic standards and transparency are the most important trust factors, and influence consumers’ willingness to pay for news.

The report says Australian news media organisations and audiences operate in a volatile environment. “Australian news organisations are challenged with the continued fall in media advertising and contractions in local news markets. Meta’s closure of its news tab and the deprioritisation of political content on Instagram will reduce the visibility of news on these social media platforms, with vulnerable groups missing out on important and reliable information.  

“There is increased uncertainty around the news media bargaining code following Meta’s announcement it will not renew its funding agreements with news businesses. The government has announced a new policy to promote a diverse and sustainable media sector – the News Media Assistance Programme – but it is yet to be implemented.

“In times burdened by persistent inflation, rising cost of living, international conflicts, and severe climate events, Australians need trustworthy news. But ongoing challenges to the financial viability of news are compounding and news avoidance is rising,” says the report.


Sections: Digital business


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