Despite the column inches given over to the impact of Twitter and Facebook on the news industry, the majority of people in the UK still rely on the BBC for online breaking news, a new survey has found.
Half of those surveyed who use the internet to check for breaking news do so via the BBC News website, the study showed.
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Combined social media sites – including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube – were more popular source of breaking news than any one individual newspaper or commercial news broadcaster’s website.
Social media was second most popular source for internet users (19 per cent) to get breaking news, according to a survey of social media habits by iCD Research.
Eighteen per cent of those surveyed said they turned to the Sky News website to check for breaking news.
The most popular newspaper online was Mail Online, the website of Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, with 13 per cent of those surveyed claiming they used it for breaking news and up-to-date information.
The next highest newspaper websites were The Sun and The Daily Telegraph, which were tied on seven per cent.
Among those surveyed the three most popular social media sites were identified as Facebook, Friends Reunited and You Tube.
Six in ten people had a Facebook account, three in ten reconnected with old school chums through Friends Reunited, while just one in every ten respondents said they had a Twitter account.
The iCD survey put questions to a thousand adults across the UK earlier this month.
Perhaps the most telling statistic from the study was that almost a third of those surveyed (28 per cent) rely on media other than the internet to get news.
Katie Knott, iCD’s Research executive, said: ‘Twitter may be the darling of celebrities and politicians, but it has yet to catch on with the average Brit.
‘Social media and online news sites doubtless have advantages over print media for breaking news, but over a quarter of those we surveyed do not get their news from the internet.”