News consumption in the UK: 2014 report

25 September 2013

This summary report provides key findings from Ofcom’s 2014 research into news consumption across the four main platforms: television, radio, print and online, and highlights where these have changed since 2013. Further detailed information is available in the chart pack which accompanies the document. It is published as part of our market research range of publications that examine the consumption of content and attitudes towards that content on different platforms. The aim of this report is to inform an understanding of news consumption across the UK, and within each UK nation.

The report details various findings relating to the consumption of news; the sources and platforms used, the perceived importance of different platforms and outlets for news, attitudes to individual news sources, the definition of news and interest in topics, and an overview of local media consumption. It provides details of our cross-platform news consumption metric – ‘share of references’. The report also compares findings related to news consumption with those from 2013, where possible.

This report uses a variety of data sources. The primary source is a news survey commissioned by Ofcom and conducted by Kantar Media in March/April 2014, comprising an omnibus survey of 2,731 people across the UK, which includes boosts of 350 in each devolved nation. This is the default source unless otherwise specified. Other sources include:

  • Ofcom local media omnibus, conducted by Ipsos Mori, comprising 2,152 adults aged 15+
  • metrics on television viewing from the industry currency BARB;
  • newspaper readership figures from the National Readership Survey; and
  • online consumption metrics from UKOM/comScore.

Any direct comparisons between the quantitative research we have commissioned and data from the industry measurement systems should be made with caution because of:

  • methodological differences, e.g. claimed or measured consumption, face-to-face surveys or diary based methods, and differing sample sizes and data collection periods;
  • time period differences e.g. “nowadays” is used in the Kantar Media survey, compared to real-time recorded consumption (BARB) or recency (average issue readership) for newspapers; and
  • differing definitions of news, e.g. set by the provider (as in BARB) or self-defined by the people we questioned.

Full report

News consumption in the UK - 2014 report (PDF, 800.8 KB)
Full print version

Ofcom News Report 2014 slides (PDF, 2.6 MB)

News Report 2014 Data tables (PDF, 4.6 MB)

News Report 2014 Questionnaire (PDF, 177.6 KB)