RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For the third consecutive year, Infobae is the number one news medium in Argentina, says the Digital News Report 2021 published yesterday by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, England.
The report is based on an online survey conducted by YouGov in January and February of this year among a representative sample of 2,007 people living in Argentina.
According to the results of this study, 46% of respondents said they visited Infobae at least once a week before the study. In second place was the cable channel TN, with 37%, and in third place was the television channel Telefe, with 34%.
These three media -Infobae, TN, and Telefe- were, in that order, the three leaders in news consumption over the past three years. The novelty for 2021 is the widening of the gap separating Infobae from TN and Telefe.
While the gaps were, respectively, 1 and 5 percentage points in 2020, they have widened to 9 and 12 percentage points in 2021. This expansion results from the scenario of an increase in Infobae’s listenership and a decrease in that of TN and Telefe.
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The report also includes four indicators of trust in news: News in general; News that respondents consume in the media; News that they consume through search engines; and News that they find in networks.
These first two indicators each show a slight increase of 3 percentage points compared to 2020. This trend may be related to the pandemic: In an information insecurity context, the audience seems to trust more the news provided by the media.
However, the overall trend since the measurement of trust in news began in 2018 has been downward. And in 2021, Argentina ranks 33rd among the 46 countries included in the study regarding trust in news.
Instagram continues to grow as a news source
The social networks have established themselves as a key access point for the news audience living in Argentina. In 2021, two-thirds of those surveyed for this report said they had been informed by one or more platforms.
However, a comparative analysis of the use of the six main social networks since 2018 shows lower access to news on the networks, with one clear exception: Instagram, which for the first time takes third place for news consumption, displacing YouTube.
The downward trend is relatively small for Facebook (from 60% in 2018 to 56% in 2021), WhatsApp (from 37% to 36%), and YouTube (from 27% to 24%). But not in the case of Twitter, which lost a third of its news audience by dropping from 18% to 12% from 2018 to 2021.
Where there is more movement, however, is the increase in respondents who say they consume news on Instagram: from 13% in 2018 to 25% in 2021. So in three years, the platform has nearly doubled the number of users who say they consume news.
This increase is in line with the growing popularity of news consumption on other platforms with strong gamified and audiovisual content, such as Snapchat and TikTok, especially among younger populations using social networks.
A new map of news consumption
At the beginning of the third decade of the twenty-first century, little remains of the media map that characterized the second half of the twentieth century. In this new scenario, the leading media are digitally native, audiences have little confidence in the news they consume, and social networks on the rise are the ones where images dominate.