Social media has overtaken television as the main source of news for young people, according to a report published Wednesday.
The report by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is based on a survey carried out online in 26 countries in Europe and U.S.
Of the 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed, 28 percent of them cited social media as their main source of news while 24 percent said they watched news on TV.
The research also found that more than half of online users get their news from Facebook and other social media platform, increasingly on mobile phones.
However, while free news distributed through social platforms creates an opportunity to reach more readers, it also makes it more difficult for publishers to get recognized and connect with their audience, the annual Digital News Report said.
“We prefer news in the digital form because it’s convenient but you get what you pay for. It takes money to do professional journalism,” said Ramsus Kleis Nielsen, the director of research at Reuters Institute.
Facebook emerged as the most common source, with 44 percent of people using it, followed by Youtube (19%) and Twitter (10%).
Nielsen said in developing countries, where access to independent and reliable news was limited, there were even more people who relied on social media for news.
“Many people in Asian and African countries are using mobile phones to get their online news and in those regions social media is even more important as source of news,” he said.