Internet changes news consumption landscape

Recent survey from Pew Research Center shows that the Internet has changed the way people access and interact with daily news.

If you are like the overwhelming majority of Americans, you are likely to read or hear about this story again on TV, the radio, newspapers, and other Internet sites. A recent survey found that 92 percent of Americans get their daily news from multiple sources.

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism report, released Monday, finds that the Internet is now the third most popular news medium, trailing behind local and national television but ahead of newspapers and radio broadcasts. Almost two-thirds (59 percent) people get news from both online and offline sources, according to the report.

Getting news from their mobile device has been a daily habit for many Americans. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

People who get daily news from a single source account for a very small amount, according to the report. It also found that only 7 percent of adult Americans rely only on the Internet or local TV for their daily news.

However, when it comes to the Internet, the report finds that 57 percent of Americans tend to have between two to five favorite Web sites where they get daily news. According to the report, 61 percent of Americans go online at least once a day to read news and 71 percent read online news at least occasionally.

Regardless how they get the news, most Americans share common reasons as to why they want to keep up with what's happening around the world. According to the report, 72 percent of those it surveyed said they enjoy discussing the news with others. It also found that 69 percent of people also consider it as a social or civic obligation to get the news.

The Internet hasn't become just another medium for news consumption; it has also changed how people interact with news. The report found that 33 percent of cell phone owners now access news from their phone and that 28 percent of Internet users have customized their home page to show news topics of their interest. It also found that 37 percent of users have contributed by leaving comments or disseminating what they've read via e-mail and social Web site such as Twitter or Facebook.

While relatively unanimous about how important daily news is to them, Americans have mixed feelings about the quality of the news. While about two-thirds (63 percent) think that news organizations have been doing a good job covering subjects that matter, 72 percent of them also agree that most news sources today are biased in their coverage.

According to the Pew Research Center, this report is based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research International between December 28, 2009, and January 19, 2010. It sampled 2,259 adults, 18 and older, who were contacted on landlines and cell phones. More information on this report can be found the research center's Web site.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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