Insights into COVID-19 News Habits

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the University of Oxford used survey data from late March and early April 2020 to record how people in six countries, including the United States, accessed news and information about COVID-19 early in the pandemic.

Their analysis produced a report, Navigating the ‘infodemic’: how people in six countries access and rate news and information about coronavirus.

Among U.S. findings:

  • In the last week, 72 percent of respondents used online sources for news, followed by television at 58 percent.
  • As a source of news and information about COVID-19 in the last week, 54 percent used news organizations, followed by scientists, doctors, and health experts at 49 percent.
  • Top search, social, and video platforms for news about COVID-19 in the last week were Google searches (38 percent), followed by Facebook (36 percent).
  • Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 26 percent used Instagram for COVID-19 news in the last week, followed by Snapchat (14 percent) and TikTok (11 percent).
  • On the important question of trust for COVID-19 news, close to everyone (80 percent) said scientists, doctors, and health experts.

As you may know, University Relations recently launched a site with U of M stories, insights, and expertise on COVID-19. If you haven’t already, please take a look. We encourage you to share the site across your networks. If you have ideas from your units, please submit them via the story sharing form.