Irish consumers continue to have a consistently high interest in news, with 70% or more declaring themselves extremely or very interested in news each year, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News report 2017. 

Irish consumers have a higher trust in news media than the international average.

The survey of 36 countries found that 47% of Irish respondents trust the news media, compared with 41% internationally.

The research was conducted online in January and February.

Interest in news increases with age, with younger people more likely to avoid the news than older groups.

However younger news consumers are more active than older ones when it comes to sharing, writing about or commenting on news.

The research showed 80% of consumers check the news several times a day, or at least once a day.

TV has declined slightly in popularity for news, dropping 8 percentage points to 68%, while radio and printed newspapers also saw declines and social media remained steady at 52% over the past year.

'Legacy media' is broadly more popular with older age groups while younger age groups are more likely to rely on social media for news, and social media is more popular among women than men at 57% versus 47%.

At 62%, computers remain the most popular device on which to access news with smartphones next at 53% and tablets a distant third, although multi-device usage is common.

A higher percentage of consumers look to RTÉ as their main traditional source of news as opposed to Public Service Broadcasters in other countries.

RTÉ was the news brand most used by consumers in 2017 and TV news is used more by older age groups.

The at 17% is the most popular news brand in the 18-24 age group with RTE TV in second place. is in third place.

In the 25-34 age group The shares the top spot with RTE TV News, each at 18%.

RTÉ TV News tops the 45-54 age group, and the older the audience is the more loyal it tends to be to legacy media.

The top digital sources of news were The with 32% of people using it as their top source for news. It was followed by RTÉ News at 31% and the Irish Independent at 30%.

Facebook and YouTube were the leading social media brands, with Facebook ahead.

Irish news consumers use Twitter and Snapchat more than the international average and 41% of Facebook users employ it as a route to news as opposed to 11% of Twitter users.

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are used more in Ireland than in many other countries for general use, rather than for news use.

Some 40% of Irish respondents are now using WhatsApp, 37% use Facebook Messenger, and 19% use Viber.

This report is based on research by the Reuters Institute, however data relating to Ireland has also been the subject of a more detailed and specific report on the Irish results of the survey, produced by the Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) at Dublin City University and commissioned by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The data for the research was collected between January-February 2017, reflecting the same data collection timeframe for previous years.