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TV is the big winner for news during lockdown

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) April – June 2020, n=17,260.
Base: Australians 14+. *TV including free-to-air TV and Pay TV.

New research from Roy Morgan shows over 13.1 million Australians (62.4%) said TV was a main source of news during the June quarter 2020, up from 12.6 million (60.0%) during the March quarter.

TV emerged as the favoured news source during the period of lockdown for more Australians than any other as over 4.3 million Australians were sent to work from home in March. Roy Morgan’s data on working from home shows there were still 3.9 million Australians working from home in July.

Other sources of news were led by the Internet used by over 11.2 million Australians (53.4%) – including 6.4 million (30.5%) using Social Media followed by Radio nominated by 6 million (28.5%), news or newspaper website/apps mentioned by 5.8 million (27.6%) and printed newspapers named by 3.8 million (18%).

Within the broader category of the internet over 3.3 million Australians (15.7%) used news feed sites such as Google News, Apple News, Feedly etc., a further 1.6 million (7.4%) used email subscriptions or updates and 1.4 million (6.9%) use other websites or apps. There are 940,000 (4.5%) who used magazines (printed, website or app) as a main source of news.

These latest findings are drawn from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, Australia’s most comprehensive consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with 50,000 Australians each year.

Main sources of news – June quarter 2020

People surveyed were asked “Thinking about all the ways you get your news, how do you mainly get your news?” (Mark all that apply).

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) April – June 2020, n=17,260. Base: Australians 14+. *TV including free-to-air TV and Pay TV.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the way Australians are living their lives in 2020 and this includes how Australians access the latest news and information:

“The COVID-19 pandemic struck Australia in mid-March as new cases mounted and in response all of Australia went into an extended lockdown period beginning in late March which extended through until mid-June for most of Australia.

“In a time of immense stress and uncertainty people turn to trusted sources of news to understand what is going on and what the impact will be on their way of life. TV is consistently rated as the most trusted source of news in Australia and was mentioned by 33.5% of people in the June quarter 2020, well ahead of the 25.9% who mentioned the internet.

“This high level of underlying trust for TV is a big reason why it has been the source of choice for Australians looking for news during the pandemic. Over 13.1 million said they used TV as a source of news (62.4%) in the June quarter 2020 – up from 12.6 million in the March quarter. 

“As well as the underlying trust Australians hold in TV as a source of news the changing way Australians worked during this period is also a likely contributor to the changes in the marketplace.

“The millions of Australians suddenly working from home during the lockdown gave homebound consumers easy access to the TV which normally wouldn’t be available for workers in the office.

“Although Victoria appears set to emerge from its second wave of COVID-19 during the next few weeks, and other parts of Australia have enjoyed low levels of restrictions over the last couple of months, there are still millions of Australians working from home.

“Many have suggested working from home will be far more prevalent in the years ahead, even after the pandemic is over, as workers seek increased flexibility in their employment options. These changes to our working habits will in turn have ongoing implications for how consumers choose to access the latest news and information through their favoured media channel.”

View the 'I always watch the news on TV to keep me up-to-date' Profile.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%