News publishers across the globe are posting on TikTok, in part to appeal to younger audiences and to combat misinformation, according to the 2022 Digital News Report, a study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and University of Oxford.
Of top publishers studied in 44 countries, 49% regularly use TikTok. Many have joined in the past year. In the U.S., the total is 77% versus:
“Until recently the network had a reputation built almost exclusively on fast-moving, funny or musical memes, but stories such as Black Lives Matter, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine have helped make news a much bigger part of the mix,” writes study author Nic Newman.
Newman adds, “Changes to the platform, enabling longer videos and the promotion of live streams, have also made TikTok more attractive for news publishers looking to engage younger audiences.”
The study continues that some publishers “worry about the Chinese ownership of the platform and the potential implications for free speech; others fear that the ‘TikTok-ification of news’ risks trivializing important stories as well as undermining business models that depend on referral traffic from social networks.”
The Ukraine war boosted news coverage, especially among those in the 18-24 age category. Of that group, 15% use TikTok for news and 40% for any purpose.
In contrast, 10% of users aged 25-34 turn to TikTok for news, while 28% do so for any reason. Only 7% of viewers aged 35-44, 6% in the 45-54 cohort, and 3% of 55+ go to it for news.
The top news publishers in the U.S. by TikTok account are:
NBC News also beats publishers across the globe in average views per video:
The Institute studied top news brands in 44 countries identified from its Digital News Report, excluding India, where TikTok is banned, and Hong Kong, where it is unavailable.