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Social Climate

Facebook is 2nd to TV for news

Of the estimated 30.6 million adult Filipino users of the internet—see “First Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey: Internet usage steady at 46% of adult Filipinos,” www.sws.org.ph, 6/4/19—virtually all have Facebook (FB). It is three times as popular as YouTube.

FB is now second in popularity to television as Filipino adults’ source of news, according to the March 28-31, 2019 SWS national survey, which found that 46 percent of those equipped with FB, amounting to about 14 million persons, use it daily to read news. (FB has three times the usage of YouTube.) This 46-point national percentage is the average of about 57 in the National Capital Region, 44 in the Balance of Luzon, 47 in the Visayas, and 31 in Mindanao.

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The estimated 14 million total number consists of 4.3 million using FB daily for 3 hours or more, 5.3 million using it for 1-2 hours, and 4.4 using it for less than 1 hour. (All figures in this column refer to adults, i.e. persons of age 18 and up, which is the standard coverage of an opinion poll; regular SWS surveys do not gather statistics regarding children.)

The use of FB to source news is related to education. It is done by 36 percent of non-elementary graduates (0.4 million estimated number), 38 percent of elementary school graduates (2.4 million), 49 percent of high school graduates (8.3 million), and 49 percent of college graduates (2.9 million). It is normal for the more educated to be more interested in news.

TV is still No. 1.  The survey found that 60.5 percent of adults, about 40 million persons, watch television news daily. There are about 9 million that watch for 3 hours or more, 18 million that watch for 1-2 hours, and 13 million that watch for less than 1 hour, each day.

The TV network most watched nationwide for news is ABS-CBN, followed by GMA-7. GMA-7 is more popular in the National Capital Region, while ABS-CBN is dominant in the Balance of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

Using television to source news is strongly related to education: 44 percent of non-elementary graduates, 58 percent of elementary graduates, 64 percent of high school graduates, and 74 percent of college graduates.

Radio is No. 3. The survey found that 14.5 percent, less than 10 million adults, listen to radio news daily. There are 1.8 million that listen to news for 3+ hours, 5.4 million that listen for 1-2 hours, and 2.5 million that listen for less than 1 hour, per day.

Interestingly, using radio to source news does not vary by education. It is done by 14 percent of non-elementary graduates, 17 percent of elementary graduates, 14 percent of high school graduates, and 15 percent of college graduates.

Newspapers are a distant No. 4. As an Inquirer columnist, I am chastened by the extremely low survey figures on readership of newspapers. The March 2019 SWS survey found only 1.5 percent of adults (about 1.0 million persons) as daily newspaper readers.

Another 1.7 percent (1.1 million) read a paper a few times a week, and 1.8 percent (1.2 million) read exactly once a week. That totals 5.0 percent that read at least weekly. Another 84 percent (56 million) read less often, and 10.2 percent (6.8 million) never read. By the way, 0.8 percent didn’t answer the survey question.

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Reading a newspaper at least every week is, thankfully, related to education: 1.7 percent among non-elementary graduates, 4.3 percent among elementary graduates, 5.9 percent among high school graduates, and 7.6 percent among college graduates.

Contact mahar.mangahas[email protected]

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