Adults are showing less and less interest in news, a recent study shows. This trend is particularly evident among younger target groups.

According to a study, the proportion of adults with a great interest in news is declining in Germany. At the same time, news consumption remains consistently high among the population.

This is the result of the “Reuters Institute Digital News Report”, which was published on Wednesday and which has shown trends in news usage in many countries since 2012. The surveys for the study took place at the beginning of the year – i.e. before the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

The report is considered representative of the German population aged 18 and over with internet access in 2022. 57 percent stated that they were extremely or very interested in news. In the last report 2021 it was still 67 percent. In previous years, too, the proportion was higher than now. There were declines in all age groups. At the same time, 92 percent use news content via television, radio, newspapers or the Internet at least several times a week – this is the same value as in the previous year.

Exhaustion from volume of messages

The Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Since 2013, the Hans Bredow Institute has been responsible for the German part of the study as a cooperation partner. The media researcher Sascha Hölig from the Leibniz Institute told the German Press Agency about the results: “We have seen for a long time that the proportion of the population who are very interested in news has decreased – but this year it is particularly clear . This can be seen in several countries, not just in Germany.”

The media researcher added: “We differentiate between interest and use. We don’t see these declines in use.” But you can see that interest in news has declined. You might not use the news quite as often anymore, but at the same time you keep yourself up to date. “We see that a certain topic fatigue has set in.” For example with Corona. “Many people feel exhausted by the sheer volume of messages,” said Hölig.

Young people are less interested in world affairs

The media researcher explained the following with regard to young target groups: “With young people it is even clearer that interest in news has declined. They don’t have the kind of felt obligation to find out what’s going on in the world, it’s different with older people.” Hölig appealed to media companies to “design news in such a way that they can be integrated into the everyday lives of young people”.

At the same time, the Leibniz Institute sees with the report that traditional media continue to reach the population. “The special thing about Germany is that the traditional news offers are still in high demand.” Television in particular is a very important genre for finding out about news. “In Africa, South America or Asia, for example, social media play a much more important role than here,” said Hölig.

The online survey took place in January and February 2022. In total, more than 93,000 participants were surveyed in the 46 countries included in the study.