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More people turn to social media for news than actual newspapers, says Pew study

It's a sign of the times.

Social media services (like Facebook and Twitter) have become a go-to place for news.
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More people are likely to get their news from a tweet or a post than a physical newspaper.

That is, according to a Pew Research Center study about where people turn to get news. It may seem obvious to some that social media outpaces print journalism -- with the circulation of physical newspapers steadily declining and social media reaching billions of people -- but Pew notes that this is the first year it found more people use social media for news than newspapers.

Pew also found that other sources of news, including television, radio and news websites still outrank social media. You can take a look at Pew's data distribution below:

Social media finally passed newspapers in 2018.

Pew Research Center

Pew's trends seem to show that online sources (including social media and news websites) are rising in popularity, while other modes (like print, TV and radio) are remaining steady or on the decline.

The study uses data from American adults 18 years old and up. By breaking down the responses by age you can see a big difference in how different generations get their news.

Data broken down by age.

Pew Research Center

Data trends show that the older responders tend to favor TV and newspapers, while social media is more popular for younger generations.

This change in preferences puts extra pressure on social media companies. Facebook has acknowledged it has a fake news problem, and Twitter struggles with it as well. While these companies work hard to combat disinformation, the Pew study shows that the stakes are only getting higher.