Social media is the main source of news for Irish secondary school students

Half of secondary school students use social media as their main news source, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The CSO said that from a total of 2,200 students, 50.2 percent said social media was where they found out what was happening in the news as part of the CensusAtSchool survey which took place between September 2017 and August 2018.

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Almost three in five (56.2%) female students chose social media, while only two in four male students (40.7%) did the same.

Another area of the study covered trust in media, and despite using social media the most, it was ranked second to magazines for lowest levels of trust from the students. Radio and television ranked highest in terms of trust level in the questionnaire.

In July, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launched the Government’s Action Plan for Online Safety, stating that the internet has ‘transformed our lives’, but also emphasised the importance of knowing that ‘illegal and harmful content’ can be accessed online.

“While the State has a role to play [in online safety], it cannot act alone. Individuals, parents, educators, industry and law enforcement all have roles to play in making the internet a safer place,” he said at the launch.

Other aspects of the study covered sports and student’s ideal physical ability.

In terms of student reasons for playing sport, ‘having fun’ came out on top, with ‘to win’ being the least important reason to participate. ‘Skill’ was the most common answer for ideal physical ability, with ‘agility’ being least popular.

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