Media research is useful for students but it also underpins a lot of media coverage and the news organisation's wider editorial strategies. has rounded up 10 best places for media research on the internet to help you get the relevant numbers on everything from digital news to diversity.

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ)

RISJ at the University of Oxford publishes academic reports and papers. It publishes the annual Digital News Report (DNR), the most comprehensive paper on the trends driving the digital media market. Its latest 2023 report features insights from 93,000 online news consumers in 46 markets covering half of the world's population.

There, you will find country-by-country statistics on news consumption habits on social media, willingness to pay for online content, polarisation of news audiences, and much more.

Besides the DNR, RISJ publishes individual papers on a range of topics and has wider research projects around trust in news and newsroom leadership.

Reporters Without Borders

The organisation is well-known for its Press Freedom Index, which ranks the countries from the best to worst for a free press.

The interactive, colour-coded map displays a breakdown of the score, detailing the political, economic, legislative, social and security conditions. Plus, it compares the country's rank to previous years.

Pew Research Center (Pew)

Pew is an American think tank which studies public opinion on a range of trends that shape the world.

Its research into news and media covers topics like news consumers' perceptions of the media, social media usage news and even top podcast guests. The data skews mostly towards the US audience but you will find data on overseas markets too.


A project of Polis – the London School of Economics' journalism think-tank – is supported by the Google News Initiative and dedicated to the advancement of artificial intelligence and journalism. It produces research on this topic, such as the 2023 Generating Change paper, as well as lots of resources and case studies.


The UK communications regulatory body publishes a lot of data relevant to UK broadcast journalism. Recent reports look at broadcast news consumption in the UK, and the performance of public broadcaster BBC. There is also a calendar for upcoming research to help stay up to date.


A global media analytics platform that ranks, for instance, the UK's top digital websites across desktop and mobile (where you will see some news sites) or top news publications across social media. It currently has data from 14 countries including the UK.

National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

A UK journalism industry accreditation body and professional awarding organisation. It also delivers industry research, most prominently on the latest diversity figures in UK journalism.

Public Interest News Foundation (PINF)

A UK foundation that supports independent public-interest news organisations through impact funds and industry research. The PINF Index maps the independent publishing sector with a survey that profiles the typical size, shape and state of play for an indie newsroom. 

The International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ)

A global network of journalists that has a research arm to explore the main challenges and opportunities facing the news industry. In recent years, they covered disinformation, the effect of the pandemic on journalism, and the safety of journalists.

A joint research project with UNESCO, The Chilling: A Global Study of Online Violence Against Women Journalists, is a significant piece of research that has looked into the unique threats facing women journalists both online and offline.


A social media analytics tool which also provides audience insights and data on all the main platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Head to its blog section and you will find case studies for specific social media features and platforms. Its most recent study was about social media benchmarks across 22 industries (including the media industry).

Honourable mentions:

WAN-IFRA: The World Association of News Publishers has a wealth of research - notably its annual World Press Trends Outlook report - exclusively for its paid members.

Charitable Journalism Project: A team of journalists, funders, lawyers, academics and media experts that want to shape policymaking through research, for example, on the emergence of news deserts in the UK.

Takumi: An influencer and creator marketing platform, that has written about the behaviour of general audiences and content creators on TikTok.

YouGov: A global community of people who sign up and complete surveys on a range of topics, frequently giving their opinions on subjects relevant to the news industry. You can find, for example, a question about the political leaning of Sky News.

Medill Local News Initiative: A research team consisting of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Spiegel Research Center and Knight Lab Foundation. It publishes research and analysis about the US local news sector navigating digital disruption, notably the recent and very thorough The State of Local News 2023 report.

What did we miss? Send your best sources of media research to us and help us grow this list

This piece was originally published on 11 September 2019 and was updated on 26 February 2024

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