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Less than half of Scots are now reading a daily newspaper, new findings from Scottish Social Attitudes shows

New findings released from ScotCen’s Scottish Social Attitudes survey show that the number of Scots reading a daily newspaper dropped to 41% in 2014, down from 76% 15 years earlier (1999).

Findings also show that 33% of those surveyed say they check online news or newspaper websites at least once a day. Around half (51%) look at news online at least weekly. However 38% of Scots said that they never read the news online.

There is a clear difference by age in who gets their content online and who still says they rely on a daily paper. 67% of those aged 65+ still regularly read a morning paper, compared with under 20% of those aged under 35. In contrast, 48% of those aged under 45 read news online on a daily basis, compared with 10% of those aged 65+.

Other key findings from the survey show that:

  • Just under a third (32%) of those who read online content every day also say they read a daily morning paper (and of course they could be reading their daily paper online).
  • The most popular Scottish newspapers are the Sun and the Daily Record – 44% of those who still regularly read a paper read one of these two.
  • 49% of those who ever look at news online say BBC News is the website they look at most often (making it easily the most popular source of online news).

Rachel Ormston, Head of Attitudes at ScotCen Social Research said: "It's clear that the way we consume news is constantly evolving, with 1 in 3 of us now reading news online on a daily basis. While this figure still lags behind the 4 in 10 who say they read a daily newspaper regularly, newspapers' struggles for sales are reflected in the very steep decline in regular readers we have recorded over the last 15 years. And the ageing profile of regular newspaper readers means that this decline may well continue: newspapers will need to be increasingly fleet footed to compete with online rivals, particularly where the latter are free of charge."


The data tables are available here

For more information about the Scottish Social Attitudes survey, please contact: / 0131 240 0222


ScotCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.

The Scottish Social Attitudes survey aims to produce high quality survey data to inform both public policy and academic study. It has a long time series (dating back to 1999) on public attitudes towards devolution and independence. Further details about ScotCen Social Research and the Scottish Social Attitudes survey are available at