Survey: For big news, consumers bypass blogs

Most consumers still turn to traditional media to get their news during major events, new survey finds.

For many Americans seeking news during important events, blogs are just about the last place they look, relying instead on traditional outlets, a survey says.

Fifty percent said they turn to traditional media like television, radio and newspapers as their primary source for information during major events such as hurricanes over "emerging media," according to a survey of 333 business professionals and 1,167 consumers between the ages of 25 and 64. The survey was sponsored by LexisNexis.

The survey characterized "emerging media" as Internet sites by citizen journalists in the form of blogs, podcasts or Internet-only publications. Internet news sites, such as those grown from newspapers or television networks, were grouped with traditional media or broken out into their own category.

When asked for their top three choices for accurate and up-to-the-minute information, 50 percent of people surveyed chose network/local television, 42 percent chose radio, and 37 percent chose newspapers. Just more than a third picked cable news or business networks, and 25 percent said they went to "Internet sites of print and broadcast media." Only 6 percent said they turned to "emerging media" sources.

When asked to choose the top five topics that interested them, consumers were more into pop culture than politics. The most popular topics, chosen by about a third of the consumers surveyed, were popular entertainment (books, movies, music, TV, plays), hobbies, weather and food/cooking/dining. Almost a quarter of the people chose sports. Popular entertainment was chosen five times more than personal finance among the consumers surveyed.

In seeking out information on those kinds of topics, blogs, user groups and chat rooms were the most popular after traditional lifestyle media. Weekly or monthly magazines were next, followed by radio and Internet sites dedicated to a specific topic.

Fifty-two percent of the consumers surveyed said they will probably stick with traditional news sources (including mainstream Internet news sites), while 35 percent said they would rely on both traditional and emerging media. Thirteen percent said they will rely primarily on emerging media for their news in the future.

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