Report: Online video adding to challenges for news firms

Report: Online video adding to challenges for news firms
Report: Online video adding to challenges for news firms

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Journalists are increasingly eclipsed by partisan commentators, influencers and celebrities, especially among young people on TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, the report said. — Reuters pic

PARIS, June 17 — The rise of online video news is making it increasingly hard for traditional news organisations to survive, according to a global survey published today.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to further reduce traffic to news websites and apps, said the Reuters Institute at Britain’s University of Oxford as it released its annual Digital News Report.

It said a major “platform reset” is underway, as tech innovations and changing consumer patterns have triggered changes in the way social media and search engines operate.

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“Some are now explicitly deprioritising news and political content, while others have switched focus from publishers to ‘creators’, and pushing more fun and engaging formats—including video—to keep more attention within their own platforms,” the report said.

Based on a survey of 95,000 people in 47 countries, it found that two-thirds of respondents watched short news items at least once a week.

With 72 per cent of those videos consumed on platforms like YouTube, it is hard for news organisations to benefit.

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Only 22 per cent of respondents said news websites and apps were their main source of news, down 10 percent on 2018.

Journalists are increasingly eclipsed by partisan commentators, influencers and celebrities, especially among young people on TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, the report said.

It highlighted French YouTuber Hugo Decrypte, 27, who makes videos explaining politics for young audiences. With 5.8 million subscribers on TikTok, he gets more mentions across all platforms than Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Liberation combined.

Similar examples in other countries include Jack Kelly in Britain and Vitus Spehar in the United States.

“Interest in the news has been falling, the proportion avoiding it has increased, trust remains low, and many consumers are feeling increasingly overwhelmed and confused by the amount of news,” the report said.

“Artificial intelligence may make this situation worse, by creating a flood of low-quality content and synthetic media of dubious provenance.” — AFP

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