A study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism says social media has overtaken television for the first time as young people’s main source of news.
It showed that 51pc of all online users surveyed said they used social media as a news source, with one in 10 saying it was their main method.
But the number of 18-24 year-olds who said they used social media as their main news source surpassed those who watched news on television, at 28pc compared with 24pc.
The report suggested that sites such as Facebook are increasingly influential in the distribution of news content.
It also went on to argue that the rise of social media platforms for consuming news and the move to mobile was “undermining” the business models of quality news publishers.
Reuters Institute director of research Rasmus Kleis Nielsen said: “The move towards a more distributed environment offers publishers opportunities to reach new audiences on an unprecedented scale.
“But as people increasingly access news via third party platforms, it will become harder and harder for most publishers to stand out from the crowd, connect directly with users, and make money. This development will leave some winners, and many losers.”
Traditional newspaper brands still lead the way in producing most of the digital content, followed by broadcasters and digital sites such as Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post, the institute said.
It surveyed around 50,000 people including 2,000 Britons as part of the research.