If there was any doubt that the days are long gone when a family got most or all of their news from the morning paper or the evening news TV broadcast, a study conducted by the Pew Internet Project
between Dec. 28-Jan. found that 92 percent of Americans used at least two media platforms on a typical day to find out what's happening while 46 said they got news from four to six platforms. Just 7 percent rely on a single outlet.
The struggling newspaper industry found itself at the bottom of the list of sources and the Internet moved up into third place. Seventy-eight percent got news from a local TV station, 73 percent turned to a national TV or cable network, 61 percent went online for their fix, 54 percent listened to radio news at home or in the car, 50 percent read the print version of a local paper and 17 percent read the print version of a national paper, like USA Today or the New York Times.
The people who used the most platforms predictably are those who are well-educated and have high household incomes.Pew also tested how important a factor ideology was when it came to what sources people sought out.
Forty-nine percent said they preferred getting news from sources that did not have a particular point of view, 31 percent gravitated to sources that shared their point of view, and 11 percent liked to check out sources whose point of view differed from theirs.
Pew said those who preferred sites with no point of view were like to include "internet users who get news online, whites, and those with higher levels of educational attainment" and "those without strong partisan ties (i.e. independents) or ideological connections (i.e. moderates)."
"Those who are disproportionately likely to seek out news sources that match their own views include Republicans and conservatives," the study said. "Democrats, in contrast, are more likely than other groups to seek out news that either supports their own views or differs from their own views (as opposed to seeking out news coverage that has no particular point of view)."
Pew asked respondents how they viewed the quality of news coverage and whether they thought there was bias, and you can see the results in the accompanying chart.
A growing group of people who are turning to sources other than traditional newspapers, radio and TV broadcasts are the "on-the-go" news consumers who have mobile devices that can browse the web and.or get e-mail.
Pew says about 37 percent of adult cellphone owners access the internet or email on their mobile devices. The typical "on-the-go" news consumer is white, about 34, a college graduate and has a full-time job.
- Seventy-two percent check weather and related information on their cell phones.
- Sixty-eight percent get news and current events information.
- Forty-four percent check out sports.
- Thirty-five percent check on traffic.
- Thirty-two percent get financial information or updates.
- Thirty-one percent have signed up to get news alerts by text or e-mail.
The survey also asked news consumers the areas in which they wanted to see more coverage. They were:
- Science news and discoveries (44 percent).
- Religion and spirituality (41 percent).
- Health and medicine (39 percent).
- State government of the news consumer (39 percent).
- Neighborhood and local community news (38 percent).
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