Quantcast
Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 11:39 EDT

TV is America’s Preferred News Mode Overall, but Online is Matching or Outpacing it in Some Segments

September 25, 2012

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Americans are today faced with a vast and ever-increasing number of options as to where to get their news, but those choices begin with a simpler question: how to get it. Would they rather watch their news on TV, read it in print or seek it out online? The results are in, and while TV is the preferred mode among half (50%) of Americans, online (36%) is in a strong second position nationally and is even equaling or besting TV among some segments. Print is a distant third, with only one in ten Americans (10%) citing it as their preferred mode.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,307 adults surveyed online between August 13 and 20, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

News interest

More than two-thirds of Americans (69%) display a moderate interest in the news, indicating that keeping up with the news is one of many ways they like to spend their leisure time. The remainder are somewhat split between being self-described “news junkies” (13%) and indicating that they are “not really interested in the news” (18%). Males (17%) are roughly twice as likely as females (9%) to describe themselves as news junkies, while younger adults are especially likely to express a lack of interest in following the news (31% Echo Boomers, 23% Gen X, 10% Baby Boomers, 6% Matures).

Although TV is the preferred news mode overall, online is an equal or even dominant presence among some segments. Both news junkies and those “not interested” show nearly even preferences between online (42% news junkies, 43% not interested) and TV (47% and 41%, respectively), whereas moderately interested adults favor TV (53%) over online (34%). Furthermore, online is the dominant mode among Echo Boomers (55% online, 34% TV), while TV remains the dominant mode for Gen Xers and older (52%-60% TV, 17%-38% online); TV’s margin over online grows consistently with age.

The level of attention paid when reading news (either online or in print) varies widely, though less than half of adults (43%) either read every word of an article (19%) or skim full articles (25%).

  • Those who prefer getting their news online are more likely than other preference groups to limit their reading to headlines, plus one to two stories in full (41%); those favoring TV (34%) are in turn more likely than print “consumers” (14%) to report the same.
  • Additionally, older respondents (particularly Matures) display more attention when reading news; they are less likely to read headlines only (11% Echo Boomers, 12% Gen X, 5% Baby Boomers, 2% Matures) or headlines plus one to two stories (39%, 38%, 32% and 20%, respectively), and they are more likely to skim full articles (22%, 19%, 25% and 38%, respectively).

Attention getters

A catchy headline is the top influencer on Americans’ likelihood to read an online or print article in full (54%), though the inclusion of interesting pictures (44%) and interesting data or research (43%) are also strong lures.

  • News junkies are less likely to be lured into reading an article by the presence of an interesting picture (32% junkies, 46% moderate, 41% not interested), but are more likely to be attracted by an interesting graphical data representation or “infographic” (40%, 29% and 17%, respectively).
  • Those who prefer getting their news online (51%) and in print (53%) are considerably more likely than those preferring TV (37%) to be lured in by interesting data or research.
  • Females (58%) are more likely than males (50%) to be drawn in by a catchy headline, while males (47%) are more likely than females (40%) to be attracted by interesting data or research.
  • Matures are lured more strongly than any other age group by interesting data or research (55%, vs. 38%-44%) and interesting pictures (52%, vs. 42%-45%).

So What?

“Americans are inundated with information,” says Harris Poll Insights Vice President Jill Gress, “and that assault of information is impacting, and will continue to impact, where Americans get their news from.”

“Furthermore,” continues Gress, “with the expectation being that online news will further displace TV over time, incorporating online news consumers’ habits and predilections into reporting will be increasingly important: this means concise reporting, given online news consumers’ stronger tendency to read articles more selectively; and increased use of supporting data, as online news consumers are much more interested in this than those preferring TV.”

TABLE 1
NEWS INTEREST – GENERATION & GENDER
“Which of these statements best describes you?”

Base: All adults

                                         Total                        Generation                  Gender
                                         -----                        ----------                  ------
                Echo              Gen X       Baby Boomers             Matures          Males    Females
              Boomers            (36-47)        (48-66)                       (67+)
              (18-35)
               ------
                 %                  %         %         %        %          %         %
                ---                ---       ---       ---      ---        ---       ---
    I am a news junkie; it's a
     favorite leisure time
     activity                         13         12      16         12         12       17          9
    --------------------------       ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    I like to keep up with the
     news, but it's just one of
     many ways that I spend my
     leisure time                     69         58      61         78         82       69         69
    ---------------------------      ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    I am not really interested
     in the news; there are
     other ways that I prefer
     to spend my leisure time         18         31      23         10          6       15         22
    --------------------------       ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 2
PREFERRED NEWS MODE – BY GENERATION & NEWS INTEREST
“While you may get your news in multiple ways, which one is your preferred way to get the news?”

Base: All adults

                                         Total                        Generation                             News Interest
                                         -----                        ----------                             -------------
                Echo              Gen X   Baby Boomers  Matures  News "Junkies"  Moderate Interest  Not Interested
              Boomers            (36-47)     (48-66)      (67+)
              (18-35)
               ------
                 %                  %           %          %            %                %                 %             %
                ---                ---         ---        ---          ---              ---               ---           ---
    TV                                50            34       52              59                 60              47          53          41
    ---                              ---           ---      ---             ---                ---             ---         ---         ---
    Online [NET]                      36            55       38              27                 17              42          34          43
    -----------                      ---           ---      ---             ---                ---             ---         ---         ---
    Online - on computer              29            43       29              22                 16              35          27          32
    --------------------             ---           ---      ---             ---                ---             ---         ---         ---
    Online - mobile device             4             7        5               2          *                       4           3           7
    ----------------------           ---           ---      ---             ---         ---                    ---         ---         ---
    Online - tablet                    3             4        4               3                  1               3           3           4
    ---------------                  ---           ---      ---             ---                ---             ---         ---         ---
    Print                             10             5        7              13                 22               9          12           6
    -----                            ---           ---      ---             ---                ---             ---         ---         ---
    Some other way                     3             7        3               1                  1               1           2           9
    --------------                   ---           ---      ---             ---                ---             ---         ---         ---

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding
* signifies less than 1%

TABLE 3
LEVEL OF ATTENTION WHEN READING NEWS – BY GENERATION & PREFERRED MODE
“Which of the following best describes how you typically read the news – either online or in print?”

Base: All adults

                                          Total                        Generation                Preferred Mode
                                          -----                        ----------                --------------
                Echo               Gen X   Baby Boomers  Matures    Online       TV      Print
               Boomers            (36-47)     (48-66)      (67+)
               (18-35)
               ------
                  %                  %           %          %         %          %         %            %
                 ---                ---         ---        ---       ---        ---       ---          ---
    I normally read just the
     headlines                          8            11       12          5          2        7               8       3
    ------------------------          ---           ---      ---        ---        ---      ---             ---     ---
    I normally just read the
     headlines, but maybe one or
     two stories in full               34            39       38         32         20       41              34      14
    ----------------------------      ---           ---      ---        ---        ---      ---             ---     ---
    I normally will read the
     headlines and a few
     sentences into most stories       15            11       10         19         21       14              15      20
    ----------------------------      ---           ---      ---        ---        ---      ---             ---     ---
    I skim the full article            25            22       19         25         38       23              24      30
    -----------------------           ---           ---      ---        ---        ---      ---             ---     ---
    I read every word in the
     article                           19            17       21         19         19       15              18      32
    ------------------------          ---           ---      ---        ---        ---      ---             ---     ---

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 4a
TOP ENTICEMENTS FOR READING AN ARTICLE – BY GENERATION AND GENDER
“Which of the following makes you more likely to read an online or print article?”

Base: All adults

                                                  Total                        Generation                  Gender
                                                  -----                        ----------                  ------
                    Echo                   Gen X       Baby Boomers             Matures          Males    Females
                   Boomers                (36-47)        (48-66)                       (67+)
                   (18-35)
                   ------
                      %                      %         %         %        %          %         %
                     ---                    ---       ---       ---      ---        ---       ---
    A catchy headline                          54         55      54         54         52       50         58
    -----------------                         ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    An interesting picture with the
     article                                   44         42      45         41         52       43         44
    -------------------------------           ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    Interesting data or research which
     supports the article                      43         38      44         44         55       47         40
    ----------------------------------        ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    An interesting infographic (e.g.
     visual representation of
     information, data or knowledge)           28         30      28         27         27       30         26
    --------------------------------          ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    Who the author is                          13         14      12         13         16       13         14
    -----------------                         ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    Something else                             13         11      17         12         13       13         13
    --------------                            ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---
    None of these                               9          9      11          9          9       10          9
    -------------                             ---        ---     ---        ---        ---      ---        ---

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 4b
TOP ENTICEMENTS FOR READING AN ARTICLE – BY NEWS INTEREST & PREFERRED MODE
“Which of the following makes you more likely to read an online or print article?”

Base: All adults

                                                        Total                         News Interest            Preferred Mode
                                                        -----                         -------------            --------------
               News "Junkies"             Moderate Interest  Not Interested    Online        TV       Print
               --------------             -----------------  --------------    ------        ---      -----
                      %                           %                 %             %           %         %            %
                     ---                         ---               ---           ---         ---       ---          ---
    A catchy headline                                    54              55          57          43       57              54      53
    -----------------                                   ---             ---         ---         ---      ---             ---     ---
    An interesting picture with the
     article                                             44              32          46          41       41              46      48
    -------------------------------                     ---             ---         ---         ---      ---             ---     ---
    Interesting data or research which
     supports the article                                43              47          47          26       51              37      53
    ----------------------------------                  ---             ---         ---         ---      ---             ---     ---
    An interesting infographic (e.g.
     visual representation of
     information, data or knowledge)                     28              40          29          17       31              26      30
    --------------------------------                    ---             ---         ---         ---      ---             ---     ---
    Who the author is                                    13              21          13           9       16              10      23
    -----------------                                   ---             ---         ---         ---      ---             ---     ---
    Something else                                       13              17          13           9       15              10      21
    --------------                                      ---             ---         ---         ---      ---             ---     ---
    None of these                                         9               6           7          20        5              11       7
    -------------                                       ---             ---         ---         ---      ---             ---     ---

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between August 13 and 20, 2012 among 2,307 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll(®) #55, September 20, 2012
By: Lawrence Shannon-Missal, Research Manager, The Harris Poll

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contacts:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
press@harrisinteractive.com

SOURCE Harris Interactive


Source: PR Newswire