Sep 13, 2010

Pew finds blending of digital and traditional news sources in media consumption

Instead of replacing their traditional news outlets, Americans are actually integrating new technologies into their media habits, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than 36 percent of Americans got news from both digital and traditional sources the day before they were surveyed, which is just under the number who relied solely on traditional sources, 39 percent.

And news audiences are drawn to different sources for different reasons, the survey points out: Headlines, entertainment, in-depth reporting, views and opinions, or a combination. For regular NPR listeners, for instance, "no single reason stands out as to why people watch, read or listen," the survey says. Some 28 percent of regular NPR listeners cite several, or all, of the reasons listed, while nearly as many say they listen for the latest news 21 percent or for in-depth reporting 20 percent.

Another interesting finding: Men and women differ in their news consumption on digital platforms. Around 50 percent of men and 39 percent of women get news on the Internet and mobile technology on any given day. Men are more likely to get news by cell phone, email, RSS feeds or podcasts than are women; men and women are equally likely to get news through Twitter or social networking sites.

The biennial news consumption survey was conducted June 8-28 on cell phones and landlines among 3,006 adults; more on methodology here.

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