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81% of Vietnam's Young Netizens Use Social Media as Daily News Source: Report

According to a recent report published by the Pew Research Center, 48% of Vietnam’s online population uses social media as a source for news at least once a day.

The report uses data from a survey titled “Global Attitude Survey 2017,” which investigated how people from 38 countries follow and perceive news media. Of the 1,000 Vietnamese respondents, 41% said they use social media sites for news several times a day and 7% said they use it once a day.

This makes Vietnam the country with the fourth highest daily use of social media sites for news. South Korea is first (57%), followed by Lebanon (52%), and Argentina (51%).

Younger and wealthier demographics are more likely to get news from social media, the report also found. In Vietnam, 81% of 18-29 year-olds, 44% of 30-49 year-olds, and 3% of 50+ year-olds cited social media sites as a daily source of news.

In general, Vietnamese are positive about news media coverage. 78% of the participants said that their news media is doing a good job of fair political coverage, 80% are positive about news accuracy and 85% are positive about important events' coverage.

As Facebook remains the most popular social networking site in Vietnam, these findings are particularly relevant in the wake of recent Facebook’s news feed changes which will prioritize content from friends and families over public content from pages and publishers. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in a post that the company’s goal is to foster “meaningful social interactions,” and that by contrast reading news is “just a passive experience.”

Facebook’s influence on journalism and the news industry is unquestionable, but research suggests that people’s news feeds might contain less news than the media tends to think. Shan Wang from the Nieman Journalism Lab examined the first ten posts on the personal news feeds of 402 people in the United States and found that half of them contained no news at all and 23% of them featured only one piece of news content.

Another study suggests that people tend to exaggerate their news exposure in self-report surveys. Taking into account what can be defined as news also helps to further a more nuanced understanding of Vietnamese online population’s relationship with news and social media.

[Photo via VnExpress]

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