Only 49 percent of residents in the Netherlands expressed interest in the news over the past year, down from 64 percent in the coronavirus year of

2021 and 51 percent in 2023. This is according to the annual Digital News Report (DNR) by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, in collaboration with the Dutch Media Authority (CvdM).

In addition to the 49 percent interested in the news, 13 percent of respondents stated they were not interested at all. The decline in interest is particularly noticeable among young people, with only 33 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds showing interest in 2024, compared to 44 percent in 2023. Additionally, 30 percent of people now sometimes or often avoid the news altogether, a 3 percent increase from last year.

Trust in the news is also slightly declining among Netherlands residents. Last year, 57 percent of respondents trusted the news they consumed, compared to 54 percent this year. Despite this decline, trust in news remains relatively high compared to other countries, according to the CvdM report.

Major news brands such as NOS, RTL Nieuws, NU.nl, AD, and the Volkskrant maintain high levels of trust, especially among young people, with roughly nine out of ten young people trusting these brands. However, many young people indicated that social media is their primary source of news consumption. The CvdM suggests that traditional news media should align more closely with the news preferences of young people.

The report also highlights discomfort with news generated primarily by artificial intelligence (AI). About 52 percent of respondents feel somewhat or very uncomfortable with AI-created news, even when supervised by humans. When humans are the primary source and AI plays a supporting role, the discomfort level drops to 33 percent.

"In an information environment where the volume of news can be overwhelming, it is crucial for journalism to connect with the new generation of news users in terms of both form and content," the CvdM stated. Photo by Apdency, Wikimedia commons.