Our News Habits

Last week the Pew Research Centre in the U.S. released current statistics on Americans’ news habits. The findings are extremely interesting for all those in media relations.

The trends tell us that more and more people are receiving their daily news in mulitple ways – both from traditional and on-line sources. People spend more time viewing news. Yet, very few get their news from Internet sources only.  

Here is what the statistics reveal:

  • Americans are spending more time with the news than over much of the past decade because there are many more ways for people to receive the news.
  • Digital platforms are playing a larger role in news consumption, and they seem to be more than making up for modest declines in the audience for traditional platforms. The average time Americans spend with the news on a given day is as high as it was in the mid-1990s, when audiences for traditional news sources were much larger.
  • Roughly a third (34%) of the public say they went online for news yesterday – on par with radio, and slightly higher than daily newspapers.
  • With cell phones, email, social networks and podcasts factored in, 44% of Americans say they got news through one or more internet or mobile digital source yesterday.
  • Americans who get news from traditional media platforms – television, radio and print – has been stable or edging downward in the last few years.  There has been no overall decline in the percentage saying they watched news on television.  Even with the continued erosion of print newspaper and radio audiences, three-quarters of Americans got news yesterday from one or more of these three traditional platforms.
  • More than a third (36%) of Americans say they got news from both digital and traditional sources yesterday, just shy of the number who relied solely on traditional sources (39%).
  • People say they spend 57 minutes on average getting the news from TV, radio or newspapers on a given day. But today, they also spend an additional 13 minutes getting news online, increasing the total time spent with the news to 70 minutes.  (This is one of the highest totals on this measure since the mid-1990s and it does not take into account time spent getting news on cell phones or other digital devices .)
  • Only 9% of Americans got news through the internet and mobile technology without also using traditional sources.

SOURCE:  This news consumption survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, on June 8-28, 2011. News links and the full survey can be found here:


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