Ireland’s main source of news is now online content, report finds

17 Jun 2024

Image: © oatawa/

The Digital News Report found that people are concerned about fake news online, with 56pc of respondents uncomfortable with the idea of news being produced ‘mostly by AI’.

Television has been pushed from the top news spot for the first time, as more people in Ireland consume their news online than through any other medium.

That’s according to the latest annual Digital News Report, which analyses the state of digital news in Ireland. This report found that 33pc listed ‘online, excluding social media’ as their main source of news, overtaking TV viewing for the first time.

This follows a report last year, which found that online sources and social media were being used more frequently as the main source of news in Ireland, particularly among younger people.

“The continuing trend toward news consumption online presents both opportunities and challenges for the media in Ireland,” said Coimisiún na Meán media development commissioner Rónán Ó Domhnaill. “This year’s Digital News Report Ireland serves as a valuable dataset, to help ensure that the transition to news online is implemented in a structured and successful manner.”

This year’s report also found that the number of Irish news consumers who paid to access news content increased in 2024. This was especially true for people aged between 18 to 24, as the number of people from this age bracket paying for news grew from 19pc to 26pc.

The report found that the amount of people interested in news remains high in Ireland, as 88pc of those surveyed were “extremely”, “very” or “somewhat” interested. This was higher than the UK (82pc), the US (84pc), and the European average of 85pc.

The study also found that there is evidence of real concern about fake news content online, with the number of people expressing concern rising to 71pc this year. Respondents said they had seen the most false or misleading information in the previous week about the Israel conflict with Hamas in Palestine.

“Misinformation and disinformation are growing and in this report, we ask a series of questions to establish how difficult people find it to verify the online news that they read,” said Prof Colleen Murrell of the Dublin City University FuJo Institute. “While it is usual to find that younger people are more at ease with online challenges, older people often surprise with their ability to adapt to new sources of information.”

Concerns around AI were also noted in the report, as 56pc of media consumers are uncomfortable with the idea of news being produced “mostly by AI” with only “some human oversight”.

The Irish data forms part of a larger survey, which has been conducted in 47 markets this year by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. Analysis of the Irish data was provided by researchers from the FuJo Institute and was sponsored by Coimisiún na Meán.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic