Reuters Digital News Report and the latest report on the “quality of the media” (2016) show that 47 percent of the respondents say that they use social networks for information at least once a week. Especially young persons do so: 22 percent of young adults rely on social networks as their main source of information.
News sites, online portals and social media are already the main source of use for around two thirds (62 percent) of the respondents aged 18 to 24 years. For this generation, using TV as news source is rather insignificant with a proportion of 11 percent. Mobile media use is very popular in Switzerland: 81 percent of Swiss people use a smartphone and thereof 61 percent state that they also use it for news consumption. For 43 percent, their mobile phone is already their main device for using digital news.
The increasing relevance of social- and mobile-media use strengthens the power position of the American tech giants as intermediaries. Up to 36 percent of the respondents state that they use Facebook for news consumption (Fög 2016 Yearbook, p. 14). However, not all information media profit from social media to the same degree. The Facebook pages of SRG SSR and a few subscription papers, including NZZ and 24 heures and the purely online player Watson.ch generate a relatively high level of attention. Also, the offerings from the free sheets and tabloid press dominate on Facebook. On the other hand most providers -including private broadcasters, as well as most subscription papers- (still) only play a negligible role on social media.