Television continues to be the most preferred medium for news with 81 per cent of consumers tuning in to a TV at least once a day for news and current affairs & #BANNER1 & # information, as per a recent study conducted by Synovate. Print and radio follow next, at 46 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively.
The study indicates consumer preferences for news media and how it plays a vital role in connecting people to the broader community. The study was based on four parameters - the most preferred medium; the most preferred subject; credibility of news; and the impact of digital technology.
The survey was conducted among more than 7,900 consumers across all socioeconomic classes in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
According to Steve Garton, director of market research, Asia Pacific, Synovate, "Consumers access news from various media and the choice of news depends on their personal preferences."
Surprisingly, digital media seemed to lag behind the traditional ones. Only in countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong did 25 per cent of the respondents say they used the Internet frequently.
When asked which news subjects were most read, watched or heard, current affairs (65 per cent) topped the list, followed by entertainment (54 per cent) and sports (39 per cent).
However, it seems that Indian consumers are more interested in the lighter side of life as they rated entertainment (61 per cent) over current affairs (51 per cent).
"When trying to understand why people watch, read and listen to the news, it's clear that a feeling of belonging is important, with 70 per cent of the respondents agreeing with the statement that they like to keep in touch with the news as it makes them feel a part of the community," explained Garton.
Indians (71 per cent), Filipinos (68 per cent) and Thais (67 per cent) emerged the strongest believers that news and career success go hand in hand, while 44 per cent of the respondents in India also trusted the news stories they watched or heard.
The study provided an insight into what kind of impact digital technology will have on the future. The emergence of personal online diaries known as weblogs was considered to be the biggest development in digital news.
Mobile phones emerged as another form of digital medium for news and current affairs in China and Thailand, where 18 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, of the respondents had received news or headlines on their phone in the past week.
"Across the region, over one in 10 respondents had gone online to access a weblog for news information in the past week," added Garton.
However, in India, only 1 per cent of the respondents were interested in reading a weblog and only 3 per cent liked to receive news or headlines on their mobile phones.
Though digital media might be the future of tomorrow, television, print and radio are definitely calling the shots today.
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