The number of people worldwide who are informed via a website or app has fallen by ten percentage points since 2018, and younger age groups prefer to access news through social media, according to a report released yesterday.

Users are more interested in celebrities, influencers and the persons appearing in social media relative to journalists, on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, as reported by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in its annual Digital News Report.

TikTok is the fastest growing social network shown in the report and is used for information by 20% of users aged 18 to 24a percentage increased by five percentage points compared to last year.

Fewer than half of respondents expressed a great interest in news overall, down from 6 in 10 in 2017.

“There is no reasonable reason to expect that those born in the 2000s will suddenly start preferring old-fashioned websites, much less print and television news just because they are getting older,” the Institute’s director writes in the report. Reuters, Rasmus Nielsen. The report was based on an online survey of nearly 94,000 adults in 46 countries including the US.

Fewer than a third of respondents said a good way to stay informed is by curating news stories based on past traffic, down six percentage points from 2016, when the survey last asked this question.

Nevertheless, citizens prefer to have the news they read selected by algorithms rather than editors or journalists.

Trust in the news has fallen by two percentage points over the past year, reversing gains seen in many countries at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

On average, 40% of respondents said they trust most news most of the time. The US has recorded a six percentage point increase in its trust in the news, reaching 32% but remains among the lowest in the ranking.

56% of citizens across media markets say they are concerned about how to tell the difference between real and fake news online — up two percentage points from last year.

The survey found that 48% of respondents said they were very or extremely interested in news, down from 63% in 2017.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters.