STUDY: ‘I saw the news today on Facebook, oh, boy’


Beatle John Lennon once sang ‘I read the news today, oh boy.”

Had he sung it today it would have been more accurate to say: “I saw the news today, oh boy. It was on Facebook but I can’t remember which page it was on.”

The trend away from the family group gathered around the 9 o’clock news and to something else has been real for some time.

The Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford have published a useful whitepaper called ‘I Saw the News on Facebook’ where they look to map the scale of this. You can find it via here. Antonis Kalogeropoulos and Nic Newman compiled the short report.

Here are a couple of stand-out facts that comms people should be aware of.

Most news is found indirectly

People don’t go and consume the news. News comms to them from search, social media, email, mobile or from aggregators. That’s a landscape to know.


Most don’t remember where they saw the news

Interestingly, the report said that 37 per cent of people could correctly recall where they read or saw the content through search and 47 per cent if it was social media.

The take-home for comms people

In the past, PR and comms people used to working with trusted brands such as the local newspaper and it’s rarely changed masthead.   The newspaper of record was just that. A single outlet in the community it served. Now that voice is spread and often comes through Facebook.

This does raise the question for comms people of the need to be on Facebook over and above everything.

Picture credit:  Mark Morton / Flickr.

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