LONDON (Reuters) - The news: Americans love to publicly debate it, British people hardly ever pay for it online and Germans prefer to get theirs through more traditional means, according to a survey about media consumption released on Monday.
The survey looked at the consumption habits in Britain, the United States, Germany, Denmark and France, and found that TV and online platforms are now the overwhelming choice for news.
Although computers remain the most popular medium on which to view news, with at least 74 percent doing so in the last week across the board, at least 20 percent had used a mobile for the same purpose in the same period.
Around 8.5 percent used a tablet computer, while e-readers and other devices remained niche products.
The report pointed to a more flexible and personalized consumption model which no longer relied on home or office internet access.
The increasing range of mobile devices was adding to the news experience, it said, rather than replacing other forms of access.
London-based journalist Nic Newman, who wrote the study, said: “Of those surveyed, nearly eight out of 10 people accessed online news every week, but the transition from print to digital is much slower in other European countries.”
Germans showed the greatest allegiance to traditional forms of media for news, with only six out of 10 using online sources over the last week, compared to an average of eight of 10 everywhere else.
Nearly seven out of 10 pick up a newspaper or tune in to the radio.
In Britain, only four percent had ever paid for digital news, compared to 12 percent in Denmark, and between six and eight percent elsewhere.
However tablet users, who accounted for 13 percent of the sample, were just as likely to shell out for news applications such as the Guardian’s or the Daily Telegraph’s as they were to use free ones.
While traditional media brands dominated people’s usage across Europe, over half of all Americans polled also cited newer sources such as Huffington Post and Gawker. Nearly seven out of 10 people in the US used polls, comment boxes and sharing functions to engage with the news, compared to roughly four out of 10 in most other countries.
The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. It involved a representative sample of more than 6,000 people during April.
Reporting By Venetia Rainey, editing by Paul Casciato