Social media has now overtaken online news platforms to become Malta's most popular source of news by a significant margin, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey. 

This year, 70% of respondents in Malta said they  used social media to access the news in the prior seven days, compared to TV and online press (both 49%), radio (21%) and written press (11%), the Media & News Survey 2023 shows.  

This was 15% more than last year when 55% said they had used social media for news. That year, most respondents (65%) said they sourced their news from online news platforms while just over half said they got their news from the TV. 

Figures for the radio and written press remained largely unchanged since last year.  

“The use of social media platforms to access news has seen the most important gain... and is particularly widespread in Cyprus and Malta,” a statement from the European Parliament (EP) said.   

“Citizens see online news platforms and social media channels, including influencers, increasingly as trusted news sources,” the EP said.   

"While a vast majority of respondents follow the news on a daily basis (70%), it is interesting to note that 9% avoid some type of news - including 6% who try to avoid some news topics and 3% who aim to actively avoid all news."

The way the Maltese consume news was also significantly different to their European counterparts, who overwhelmingly – the same proportion as those who use social media for news in Malta – chose to access news using the television this year (71%).  

Meanwhile, just 37% of EU respondents said they had used social media for news.  

Only 15 to 24-year-olds in the EU shared the Maltese's news habits, with social media being that age group’s most popular news source. All other age groups in the EU preferred television as their main source of news, while in Malta this was only the case for those aged 55 or above.  

Facebook was the most popular social media network for news in Malta, followed by WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram.  

While this was the same as in the rest of the EU, Facebook was significantly more popular – by around 20 percentage points – and WhatsApp was also more popular (by around 10 percentage points).  

The types of news the Maltese were interested in also varied slightly to their European neighbours, with respondents showing more interest in local news than those in the rest of the EU. They also were more interested in crime and accidents and hobbies and lifestyle than other Europeans.  

Meanwhile, the Maltese were less interested in national politics, financial and scientific news.  

The Eurobarometer survey is a comprehensive public opinion study designed to gather information about attitudes to social and political issues across the union. The survey is conducted twice per year, from April to May and October to November. 

A total of 517 Maltese participants were interviewed online this October, for the survey. 

In total, almost 26,000 participants were interviewed across the EU. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us