SimonDickson.co.uk

Menu

How Leavers and Remainers get their news

Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism recently published a report on the media habits of UK consumers: they took 2019 research data from YouGov, and broke it down by whether they voted Leave or Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

With Brexit framing the entire election campaign, its lessons must have at least some relevance to the next few weeks.

For both camps, the most used news sources, in order, were the BBC, ITV and Sky: the three national TV broadcasters, although of course, they all also have online presences.

But in the context of content sharing ahead of the election, it’s especially interesting to note the mismatches between the brands people use to get their news, and the brands they trust.

REMAINTrustUsage
BBC7.3285%
Channel 47.1213%
ITV7.0531%
FT6.986%
Guardian6.7327%
Independent6.5610%
Times6.5619%
Sky6.3928%
LEAVETrustUsage
ITV6.6746%
FT6.423%
BBC6.3878%
Times6.310%
Channel 46.2410%
Telegraph6.2311%
Sky6.2135%

Remainers have a high degree of trust in Channel 4 and the Independent, but they are highly unlikely to get their news from them. Both sides have a high degree of trust in the (pro-Remain) FT, but few people actually read it.

So if you’re targeting Remain voters, and you find favourable articles on these sites and feeds, it’s well worth giving them some social amplification.

The pattern of usage of different social networks is remarkably consistent between the Leave and Remain camps: Facebook and Twitter are first and second for both, but Twitter is a much closer second among Remainers. Leavers are slightly more likely to use YouTube for news. The two sides are equally (un)likely to share and comment on news in the average week.