The FINANCIAL — While newspapers and broadcast outlets struggle to survive in the Internet age, two-out-of-three Americans (67%) feel they are more informed today than they were 10 years ago. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just eight percent (8%) consider themselves less informed these days, while 22% think their level of knowledge is about the same.
Women are more confident than men that they are better informed now. Adults ages 30 to 49 believe that more strongly than those in any other age group.
Forty-four percent (44%) of all adults say the Internet is the best way to get news and information. Television comes in second, with 36% who still turn to the tube. Print newspapers are a distant third with just 11% who view them as the best source for news and information. Only nine percent (9%) still rely on radio.
Although more people turn to the Internet, they're less sure about the quality of the information they find there. Only 29% say the Internet is the most reliable source of credible news information. The plurality (40%) says broadcast news is the most reliable source. Twenty-one percent (21%) view newspaper that way.
In July 2009, 46% considered network television news programs a more reliable source of news than the Internet, while 35% relied on online news more.
This past June, Americans expressed more confidence in local newspaper reporting than in online news sources.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 15-16, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Men tend to view the Internet as the best source of news and information more than women do. Women rely on television more.
The majority of Americans under 50 regard online sources as the best for news and information. Older Americans trust television more.
Print newspapers have been struggling for several years in a market now dominated by free online news sources, and many papers have gone out of business or are barely surviving. However, most Americans (61%) are confident that if newspapers go out of business, online and other news sources will be able to make up the difference and report things people want to know about. That finding is unchanged from April 2009 and includes 31% who are Very Confident that other news sources will be able to pick up the slack.
Thirty-four percent of voters are not confident that other news sources will be able to compensate for the loss of traditional print newspapers, including five percent (5%) who are Not At All Confident.
Americans continue to oppose government-driven solutions for the newspaper industry’s problems in large part because of their concern that they threaten the press’ independence.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering several ways to help the struggling newspaper industry, but Americans strongly reject several proposed taxes to keep privately-owned newspapers going. But 84% oppose a three percent (3%) tax on monthly cell phone bills to help newspapers and traditional journalism.
Despite the emphasis more and more newspapers are putting on their online editions, most Americans still would rather read the printed version.
However, in early January, over half of Americans said they would rely mostly on television for 2010 political news