Americans have more choices than ever about how and where to consume news. From 24-hour cable television, to local TV stations, to news sites, radio, newspapers and social media, the options are unlimited. So, where are Americans getting their news? The results of a recent survey from the Media Insight Project may surprise you.
- Nearly 90 percent of Americans turn to television as their news source, whereas just 60 percent turn to newspapers or magazines. Of course, many are reading newspapers and magazines online through their computer, tablet or phone.
- 75 percent of Americans surveyed said they read, listen or watch the news on a daily basis, and 60 percent of those daily participants are under 30.
- Nearly half of people with Internet access sign up for daily news alerts.
- 78 percent of Americans get their news on a smart phone.
The number one reason people turn to the news is for weather and traffic. And that number is high regardless of the age group.
- Among 18 – 29 year-olds, 71 percent
- 30 – 39 year olds, 93 percent
- 40 – 59 year olds, 81 percent
- 60+ year olds, 95 percent
Some of the other survey findings:
- Americans are more likely to tune in to their TV for weather, traffic, crime and health news.
- Newspapers (print and online) are the most popular sources for local community news, for news about arts and culture, and for news about schools
- Social media is an important news source (Facebook & Twitter), with 40 percent of Americans saying they get their news from these sources; however, 80 percent of Americans say they also got news in the last week by going directly to a news organization(newspaper, TV newscast, website, or newswire) and that included all age groups. As a news source, social media is adding to, not replacing other news sources.
Not surprisingly, Americans are getting their news from multiple devices each week. The most frequently used:
- Television (87 percent)
- Laptops/computers (69 percent)
- Radio (65 percent)
- Print newspapers or magazines (61 percent)
- Cellphone (55 percent)
- Tablet (30 percent)
As a public relations practitioner, I found the survey surprisingly good news. While it’s clear that news organizations have shrunk considerably over the past decade with smaller news teams both locally, nationally and internationally, they remain influential sources of news and information for consumers, thus providing important vehicles for securing coverage for clients.