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Internet Rising As Popular News Source In The US: Pew

March 1, 2010

A new survey released on Monday states that the Internet has become the third most popular news platform in the United States, right behind local and national TV stations.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project for Excellence in Journalism surveyed 2,259 adults to find out where the daily news sources come from.

78 percent of those surveyed said they get their news from local television stations. 73 percent said they got their daily news from a national TV network such as NBC or a cable TV network such as CNN. 61 percent said they get news online and 54 percent said they listen to radio news programs at home or in the car. 50 percent said they get news from local newspapers and 17 percent from national newspapers.

Ninety-nine percent said they get news from at least one of the six news platforms. 92 percent said they get news from multiple sources most days, with about 50 percent using four to six sources daily.

The survey found that of those who get their daily news online, 1 in 5 people get it from just one site, while 57 percent visit between two and five sites for news and information. Eleven percent said they visit more than five sites a day. 65 percent of the study said they do not have any particular favorite news site.

“Americans have become news grazers both on and offline — but within limits,” said Amy Mitchell, deputy director for The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. “They generally don’t have one favorite website but also don’t search aimlessly,” she said. “Most online news consumers regularly draw on just a handful of different sites.”

The survey also found that 1 in 3 of people got their news from their mobile devices.

“News awareness is becoming an anytime, anywhere, any device activity for those who want to stay informed,” said Kristen Purcell, associate director for research at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Additionally, 37 percent of Internet users said they have contributed to news, commented on or distributed it via postings on social media networks online such as Facebook. 75 percent of Internet news consumers have news forwarded to them through their email or through posts on social networks. 52 percent said they share news links with others.

“The rise of social media like social networking sites and blogs has helped the news become a social experience for consumers,” Pew said in a statement. “People use their social networks and social networking technology to filter, assess and react to news. They also use traditional e-mail and other tools to swap stories and comment on them.”

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed agreed that major news organizations do a good job covering important news stories, while 7 out of 10 people agreed that most news sources are biased in their coverage.

The survey was conducted between December 28 and January 19 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

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