Current Trends in Consuming On-line and Digital News

Here are some more notable findings from the Pew Research survey.* It is not surprising that the Internet is a regular source of news for a majority of Americans and that on-line news consumption is on the rise. But where and how do people search for their news interests? Here’s a glimpse of what is happening: 

  • 57% of Americans regularly get news from at least one internet or digital source. Nearly half (46%) of the public says they get news online three or more days a week, up from 29% in 2004 and 37% just two years ago. About a third (32%) gets news online every day, which is double the percentage that reported going online for news daily four years ago.
  • The use of search engines to find news has also increased substantially. A third (33%) of the public employs search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, three or more days a week to search for news on a particular subject of interest.
  • The public turns to other online technologies for news far less often. About one-in-ten regularly get news or news headlines by email (12%), through a customizable webpage or RSS reader (10%), or read blogs about politics or current events (9%).
  • Of newer technologies, 8% regularly get news on their cell phone or smartphone, 7% regularly get news through social networking sites and 5% regularly watch or listen to news podcasts. Only 2% of the public regularly gets news through Twitter, and 1% uses their iPad or other tablet computer for news regularly.
  • Many familiar names dominate the list of websites people go to most often for news and information. More than a quarter (28%) mention Yahoo – the most frequently mentioned website – and another 15% cite Google and 14% name MSN as one of the websites they use most often. Fewer mention AOL (7%) and their internet service provider (4%) as their top online sources for news.
  • Cable television news organizations also are among the most common websites for news and information – 16% cite CNN, 8% mention FOX, and 7% name MSNBC among the websites they use most often. Far fewer cite BBC (2%), ABC (2%), NBC (2%), NPR (1%) and CBS (1%).
  • Online news consumers also turn to the websites of national newspapers; 6% name the New York Times website, but USA Today (2%), the Wall Street Journal (2%) and the Washington Post (1%) are mentioned less often.
  • Only 2% cite the Drudge Report and 1% volunteer the Huffington Post as one of the websites they go to most often for news and information. And 1% mention Facebook as one of their top sources for news.

* SOURCE:  This information is from the biennial news consumption survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 8-28 on cell phones and landlines among 3,006 adults. To see the full survey results go to: http://people-press.org/2010/09/12/americans-spending-more-time-following-the-news/

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