For the first time in Ireland, the smartphone is the main device people use to access news in the morning.

The Reuters Digital News Report also found that 72% of people surveyed in Ireland access news via a smartphone weekly.

The report, which is compiled annually, showed that 35% of those surveyed reach for their smartphones to check the news in the morning, while 31% listen to the radio, 15% turn on television news and just 3% access print.

There are significant differences in age groups, with 46% of 18-24 year olds first checking their phones, compared to 19% of those aged 65 and over.

Radio is still very strong here compared to other countries, with 46% of people aged 65 and over saying they use the radio to access new in the morning.

RTÉ News remained the most trusted news brand in Ireland at 74% and was also the most frequently used news brand both for traditional and digital media.

The Reuters report found that fewer people said they were extremely or very interested in news than last year, although more than half of those surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed that they could trust most news, most of the time.

41% of the 2,004 people surveyed in Ireland cited too much coverage of coronavirus and politics as reasons to avoid news.

However, young people in particular found the news to be a downer, but the chief reason for avoiding the news was its repetitiveness, especially around Covid and politics.

For those aged 18-24, 37% said the main reason for avoiding the news was the negative effect on mood.

Others said the news led to arguments they would rather avoid, or a feeling of powerlessness, while many young people said they found it hard to understand.

There was also a drop in the number of people who said they never avoid the news; from 41% in 2017 and 37% in 2019 to 29% this year, which means that overall 68% of Irish consumers say they actively try to avoid the news often, sometimes or occasionally.

Interest in news in Ireland is higher than in the UK, North America or the wider EU, although interest in news among 18-24 year olds has fallen significantly, with just 25% saying they were extremely or very interested in the news compared to 53% in 2016.

The report found that audio is still extremely popular, with 46% saying they listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.

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Of the other most trusted news brand in Ireland, the Irish Times was second at 71% and local or regional radio next with a 70% trust score, followed by local or regional newspapers at 69%.


Read the survey's findings on Irish media


The top five most frequently used traditional news brands were RTÉ TV News, RTÉ Radio News, Sky News, BBC News and Virgin Media One.

The most frequently used digital brands are RTÉ News Online, The Journal.ie, Independent.ie, Irishtimes.com and BreakingNews.ie.

WhatsApp was the most frequently used social media app.

Nine out of ten people said they paid attention to climate change coverage in the media.

The report surveyed 93,000 participants across 46 countries.

It found the share who said they actively avoided the news had increased from 29% to 38% since 2017.

The combined impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and cost-of-living crisis have led to declining interest in the news.

The numbers doubled in some countries, including Brazil (54%) and Britain (46%).

Lead author Nic Newman said the findings were "particularly challenging for the news industry".

"Subjects that journalists consider most important, such as political crises, international conflicts and global pandemics, seem to be precisely the ones that are turning some people away," he was quoted as saying.

Most of the study was completed before the invasion of Ukraine in February, but subsequent surveys in five countries found these issues had only deepened in its aftermath.

Trust in the media fell in half the countries surveyed, and rose in just seven, the report said, reversing gains made during the pandemic.

Overall, trust was at 42%, down from 44% when the media had a small positive bump from the pandemic.

The US showed the lowest level of trust at 26%, tied with Slovakia.

The problem is being compounded by young people increasingly detached from legacy media, with 15% of 18- to 24-year-olds saying they use TikTok as a primary source of news.