The Arab Barometer showed how the use of social media and internet change in times of distress
Agadir – A new report by Arab Barometer has highlighted the increasing reliance on social media as the main means to consume breaking news in the Arab world.
Titled “Digital media usage during times of distress,” the report tracked the transformation of digital media consumption throughout Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.
It found a steady growth in internet usage, social media usage, as well as an increasing reliance on social media for breaking news across the countries.
In a time of shifting consumption patterns, the study noted that “perhaps the transformation in digital media consumption has been accelerated by the pandemic outbreak,” for the Arab world in particular.
The study found that 65% of Moroccans use the internet at least one time a day. Unsurprisingly, the largest gaps amongst those surveyed were between young people and older people.
Of Moroccans aged 18 to 29, 76% reported using the internet at least one time a day, while 59% of those over the age of 30 used the internet daily.
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Out of the countries surveyed, Morocco saw the largest gap on internet “usage with respect to education.” 91% of Moroccans with higher education report using the internet daily, compared to 56% of those with secondary education or less.
According to the Arab Barometer, social media is increasingly becoming the main source for breaking news in most of the Arab world. In Morocco, 36% of people indicated that they use social media as their primary source for breaking news.
The study also showed that those with higher education report using social media as their primary source of breaking news much more than those with secondary education or lower. In Morocco, twice as many people with higher education reported using social media for their news, than those with secondary education at most, standing at 60% and 27% respectively.