Television is still communication media most used by Brazilians when they look for informations, coming up with 63% in the users’ habits. It is followed by Internet, with 26%, radio, with 7% and newspaper with 3%. Other communication media come up with 1% as possibilities for obtaining information. The data comes from Pesquisa Brasileira de Mídia 2016, annually organized by the Presidency of the Republic’s Social Communication Secretary (Secom).
Information consumption is similarly distributed between the sexes, but it varies when it comes to user age, with Internet, instead of TV, coming up as the most used media by young people between 16 and 17 years old (51%) and between 18 and 24 (50%). As the users’ ages go up, so does the importance of TV and radio as main media through which information is obtained and the Internet’s relevance declines. There is also a difference regarding the level of education: people with more education time – incomplete superior education 54% and complete superior education 49% – use the Internet rather then television.
Although the TV’s reach is still considerable, the data show an important trend: the regression of television as the most important means to obtain information and the growth of the habit of looking for information online. In 2014, when the production of Pesquisa Brasileira de Mídia began, the percentage of users that had TV as their most important media was 76%, while Internet had only 13%.
The tendency for a percentage raise of users that have the Internet as main information source should be assessed taking into account some of the access indicators to avoid a hasty conclusion about the Brazilian media habits transformations.
1) Although the Internet has been growing as a means for information access, only 54% of Brazilian homes have access to the Internet (Pesquisa TIC Domicílios 2016 – Cetic.Br). Of this percentage, only 64% are connected through broadband services. This data reveals a high percentage of users without connection and another group that uses the Internet through mobile connection packages on cell phones and smart phones, what might have an impact on the quality of the access and, consequently, on the environments, platforms and content accessed.
2) The country’s Southeast, where most of the economic power is concentrated, is still the region with the most homes connected through broadband and there is a large discrepancy of broadband access between urban areas (59%) and rural areas (26%). Similar inequalities might be observed in the access of different social classes. 98% of the A class (high income) has broadband in their homes against only 23% in the D and E classes (lowest income).
These and other indicators help us not to minimize the substantial impact television still has on the reproduction of culture and the formation of public opinion in Brazil, as it daily reaches 97.1% of Brazilian homes, according to Pesquisa Nacional de Amostragem de Domicílio in 2015 (IBGE). Radio, even though it is only mentioned by 7% of the interviewees as the most important means to information, reaches 69.2% of the homes.