More young people switch to online news platforms

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 4:48am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 4:48am

More young people are now getting their news online, while the older generation still prefers physical newspapers, a Chinese University survey has found.

Over 40 per cent of those aged between 15 and 29 said they were reading fewer free or paid papers because they had switched to using online news platforms.

But an overwhelming majority - more than 90 per cent - of those aged over 60 said their reading of free or paid papers remained the same despite the availability of news online.

"New media is popular among the young and educated, but the older groups have yet to embrace it," CUHK media professor Clement So York-kee said.

Some 33 per cent and 30 per cent of the respondents also said they read fewer paid newspapers because they had switched to reading free newspapers and online news sites, respectively.

But physical papers - whether paid or free - remained the respondents' most popular source of news, with about 63 per cent reading them every week.

Some 56.5 per cent read online platforms, comprising websites and mobile applications.

CUHK said although paid physical papers remained most popular, its fate would be affected by free papers and online news platforms in the long run.

But So said: "New media and traditional media will co-exist. Traditional media is still the majority's preference and is important as a source of news verification. New media such as blogging is … opinion-based."

Lau Sai-leung, founder of local news blog House News, said new media was nevertheless becoming increasingly prevalent.

"New media is empowering individuals," he said.

So and Lau were speaking at the launch of RTHK's free-to-air digital channel.

The CUHK poll had a sample size of 1,013 and a 39 per cent response rate. Its margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 per cent.