Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2021

The Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) collaborated with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), on the Digital News Report, 2021. The tenth edition of the Digital News Report featured India for the first time in the main report. It is based on an online survey of 46 media markets to understand how news is consumed in different countries.

The 2021 report focused on trust in news, the pandemic induced economic pressure on news publishers, misinformation and COVID-19, and other aspects of digital news consumption among the public.

The Asian College of Journalism provided support in identifying news brands and specific details relevant for the Indian market in the survey questionnaire, verifying the Hindi translation of the questionnaire, and contextualising the main findings for India in its country profile in the report.


India is one of the strongest mobile-focused markets in this survey, with 73% of the respondents using smartphones to access news. Overall, 82% of the respondents source news online (including social media), while 63% source news from social media platforms. WhatsApp and YouTube are the top social media platforms from where people get their news (53% of respondents) amid concerns of rampant misinformation on these platforms.

On an average, trust in news has grown across the world, with 44% of the total sample for all media markets saying they trust most news most of the time. Finland had the highest levels of overall trust in news (65%) while the US had the lowest levels of trust (29%). India, however, ranked lower at 31 among 46 countries, with 38% of the respondents saying that they trust news overall.

The survey shows that legacy print brands and government broadcasters score high on trust levels among news consumers in India.


In India, the respondents were mainly English-speaking, online news users, leaning towards a more affluent, younger, educated, and urban population. They represent a small portion of a diverse and vibrant media market in the country. Therefore, the findings should not be taken to be nationally representative.

Link to country profile – India                                                               

Link to main report