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Ofcom report shows children favour TV over social media for Covid-19 news

Posted on: May 19, 2020 by Mariella Brown

Seven in 10 children have used television as a source of news and information about Covid-19 (72%), opposed to under half of respondents (48%) turning to social media for such news, reported an Ofcom News Consumption Survey.

Nearly all children (96%) have accessed news and information about Covid-19, according to the regulator’s study which asked around 500 children aged between 12 and 15 about their use of news content across different platforms.

The online survey took place between 1 and 20 April, within weeks three and four of UK lockdown.

The report shows that while two thirds of respondents (67%) said they got information about the crisis from family members, second to this was BBC television news at 49%.

The report also outlined attitudes towards Covid-19 and media coverage. BBC TV is highly trusted; 87% of the 12-15-year-olds who used it for Covid-19 information said they trusted the BBC to tell the truth.

In comparison, three in 10 children responded that they used ITV as a source of Covid-19 news and information, with 69% of those saying they trusted its information. A fifth of children (21%) used Sky News for information about Covid-19.

However, half of children quizzed said they’re finding it hard to know what is true or false about Covid-19.

The report also examined the social media sites used for the 48% of children who use platforms for Covid-19 news. Social media sites did not reach the same figures as broadcasters BBC, ITV and Sky News: the most popular platforms were YouTube (20%), Facebook or Facebook Messenger (20%) and Instagram (18%).

The full report can be viewed on the Ofcom website.

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