- POLITICO edges The Economist as most influential EU media source, with the Financial Times third.
- Social media influencers see significant increase in clout.
- LinkedIn is the second most frequently used social media channel after WhatsApp, whilst X (formerly Twitter) sees a decline in usage.
POLITICO and The Economist are this year’s most influential providers of news and information needed for making well-informed decisions in the capital of Europe, according to the annual EU Media Poll conducted by Savanta for BCW.
In a neck-and-neck race, POLITICO and The Economist finished level overall, equally ranked by 74% of respondents as the most influential EU source. However, despite losing ground since last year (minus 6% overall), POLITICO retains its crown because it scored more “very influential” ratings than its rival (36% vs. 30%).
The Economist has leapfrogged The Financial Times (FT) and Reuters thanks to a 5% surge in its overall vote. The FT stays in third place, while Reuters slips from second place to fourth. Other significant movers in the top 10 ranking include Euractiv (up 6%), EUobserver (up 7%) and Euronews (down 10%).
LinkedIn continues to make an impact as the second most frequently used social media channel or app by EU decision-makers, while WhatsApp and X (formerly Twitter) have experienced declines in usage frequency. Despite a decline, X is still perceived as an influential “news source”, ranking as the sixth most influential news source, up 6% since last year.
Social media influencers (activists, academics, campaigners, journalists, etc.) have seen a significant increase in influence jumping from 30% in 2022 to 46% this year. Their direct influence should not yet be over-estimated however, as only 8% surveyed consider these influencers “very influential”.
Since 2016, the EU Media Poll has surveyed EU decision-makers – including Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), EU officials and opinion-formers – on the sources of news and information they rely on to make their decisions. The survey also explores how media and social media compare with other forms of influence, such as professional colleagues, meetings with stakeholders, lobbyists and events.
Insider access, expertise and quality analysis remain important factors for EU decision-makers when considering the reasons behind their influence. The Economist was the only outlet recognised for the quality of its journalists and content creators.
“Communications professionals are faced with a constantly evolving media and social media landscape, so navigating this and understanding which channels truly have the most impact is key,” said Andrew Cecil, CEO, BCW Brussels. “The EU Media Poll will continue to serve as a reference point for anyone seeking to understand how EU decision-makers are influenced.”
“What’s striking to me is the increasing rise in influence of social media influencers this year – whether they be individual journalists, campaigners or activists,” noted Meghan Oliver, Senior Director, Savanta. “We see how critical influencers are in other arenas – in shaping consumer behaviour, for example, and it’s noteworthy to see the influence of these individuals starting to generate meaningful cut-through in the policymaking sphere”.
The full results of the survey can be found on the BCW Brussels
and Savanta websites. The findings will be presented and analysed at an event at the Press Club Brussels on 12 October 2023. For more details: follow us on LinkedIn and X @BCWBrussels.
Georgina Unsworth, BCW Brussels, [email protected]
Meghan Oliver, Savanta ComRes, [email protected]