Are traditional news sources influential during elections?

In a world of Trump tweets, Jeremy Corbyn’s youthquake and a shock General Election result, are journalists or social media better plugged into voters?


In a world of Trump tweets, Jeremy Corbyn’s youthquake and a shock General Election result, are journalists or social media better plugged into voters? When the public heads to the polls, are voting decisions still influenced by traditional news sources?


It depends on how old the voter is, according to a recent YouGov poll1 conducted on behalf of the London Press Club and Society of Editors. Overall, the poll indicated that traditional news sources are seen as more important and more influential than social media.

Conversely, amongst the sprightly age range of 18-24 years old, only 15% say newspapers were important in helping them to decide who to vote for.

In an age where it’s essential for news media to understand the behaviors and preferences of its different audiences, this lively debate discusses the poll results, and challenges both the impact and influence of traditional news sources during the Brexit referendum as well as recent, notable elections.

Participants:

  • Andrew Rawnsley, political columnist, The Observer @andrewrawnsley
  • Amanda Platell, columnist, Daily Mail 
  • John Rentoul, political columnist, The Independent @JohnRentoul
  • Simon Robinson, EMEA editor, Reuters @iron_emu
  • Kevin Schofield, editor, PoliticsHome.com @PolhomeEditor

 

Three key findings from the poll:

1. Younger voters think social media is influential in helping to choose or confirming their voting choice

2. Overall, newspapers primarily confirm voters’ choice of party rather than changing that choice

3. Around one in five think the media influenced the outcome of the election

 

1.  Poll: How today’s voters get their political news. Base: All GB adults (1,601); 18-24 year olds (186)

 

Related Features

More consumers are incidentally exposed to content via feeds or recommendation engines. What are the implications for publishers?

How will moving to new digital platforms help shape the identity of your news brand? And, can you use them to engage a new audience and build trust in your content?

Editor-in-Chief Gert-Jaap Hoekman tells us how NU.nl has successfully grown engaged, loyal audiences.

Watch Jon Laurence describe how Channel 4 News reaches young audiences, earned two billion views, and how Reuters complements their strategy