The FINANCIAL — A new survey reveals that reading online news is more popular in US than in a printed newspaper.
The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism report, released on March 1, finds that the Internet is now the third most popular news medium, trailing behind local and national television but ahead of newspapers and radio broadcasts, according to CNET News.
"News awareness is becoming an anytime, anywhere, any device activity for those who want to stay informed," it said, BBC reports. Newspapers in the US and UK have been going through financial difficulties, leading many to examine charging for their news online.
According to the same source, the survey showed that news aggregators such as Google News and AOL were most commonly used, along with the websites of CNN and the BBC.
The findings come ahead of a roundtable discussion March 9-10 hosted by the Federal Trade Commission on the future of journalism, according to The Washington Post. It's the agency's second event exploring the future of journalism as traditional news outlets struggle to survive with business models disrupted by the free flow of information on the Internet.
Sixty percent of respondents to Pew's survey said they get news through the Web, the same source reports. "The days of loyalty to a particular news organization on a particular piece of technology in a particular form are gone," according to Pew. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they don't have a single favorite site for news. About half of respondents get news from four to six platforms in a single day. "The process Americans use to get news is based on foraging and opportunism. They seem to access news when the spirit moves them or they have a chance to check up on headlines," Pew wrote.
The study also found that of the 57 percent of Americans who use social-networking sites like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn, about half receive their news from people they follow. Also, 6 percent of all Internet users get news through Twitter posts, San Francisco Chronicle wrote. About one-fifth of social-network users follow news organizations or individual journalists to get news, treating them "as nodes in their social networks," the report said.
The report also found 37 percent have "contributed to the creation of news," meaning they have commented on a news story, posted a link on a social network, created their own news or opinion piece or sent a Twitter message about the news, according to the same source. "People use their social networks and social-networking technology to filter, assess and react to the news," the report said.
The Washington Post wrote that the report described the consumption of news as "portable, personalized and participatory."
33 percent get news from mobile phones.
28 percent have a customized home page with news feeds.
37 percent have posted, linked, shared or commented on news stories on Facebook and other social networking sites.
While relatively unanimous about how important daily news is to them, Americans have mixed feelings about the quality of the news, according to CNET News. While about two-thirds (63 percent) think that news organizations have been doing a good job covering subjects that matter, 72 percent of them also agree that most news sources today are biased in their coverage.
According to the Pew Research Center, this report is based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research International between December 28, 2009, and January 19, 2010, the same source reports. It sampled 2,259 adults, 18 and older, who were contacted on landlines and cell phones.