Most People Now Rely On The Internet For News

Mar 3rd, 2008 | By | Category: Citizen Media, Internet TV, Podcasting Research, Podcasting Statistics

3 generations of women trust the Internet for news

Two thirds of all Americans are dissatisfied with the current state of journalism, and most now regard the Internet as their most important source of news, according to a new Zogby International survey.

The survey also found that while most Americans (70%) think journalism is important to the quality of life in their communities, two thirds (64%) are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities.

Other highlights of the research:

  • Nearly half of respondents (48%) said their primary source of news and information is the Internet, an increase from 40% who said the same a year ago.
  • 55% of those age 18 to 29 say they get most of their news and information online, compared to 35% of those age 65 and older.
  • Overall, 29% said television is their main source of news, while fewer said they turn to radio (11%) and newspapers (10%) for most of their news and information.
  • Just 7% of those age 18 to 29 said they get most of their news from newspapers, while more than twice as many (17%) of those age 65 and older list newspapers as their top source of news and information.
  • Web sites are regarded as a more important source of news and information than traditional media outlets – 86% of Americans said Web sites were an important source of news, with more than half (56%) who view these sites as very important. Most also view television (77%), radio (74%), and newspapers (70%) as important sources of news, although fewer than say the same about blogs (38%).

The survey has clear implications for podcasting and new media – people are looking to the Internet for news and information, but may not be ready to trust new news sources. The onus is on new media sites to establish a track record and build that trust.

Overall, the survey finds the Internet not only outweighs television, radio, and newspapers as the most frequently used and important source for news and information, but Web sites were also cited as more trustworthy than more traditional media sources – nearly a third (32%) said Internet sites are their most trusted source for news and information, followed by newspapers (22%), television (21%) and radio (15%).

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Although the vast majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism (64%), overall satisfaction with journalism has increased to 35% in this survey from 27% who said the same in 2007.
  • Both traditional and new media are viewed as important for the future of journalism – 87% believe professional journalism has a vital role to play in journalism’s future, although citizen journalism (77%) and blogging (59%) are also seen as significant by most Americans.
  • Very few Americans (1%) consider blogs their most trusted source of news, or their primary source of news (1%).
  • Three in four (75%) believe the Internet has had a positive impact on the overall quality of journalism.
  • 69% believe media companies are becoming too large and powerful to allow for competition, while 17% believe they are the right size to adequately compete.

Republicans (79%) and political independents (75%) are most likely to feel disenchanted with conventional journalism, but the online survey found 50% of Democrats also expressed similar concerns.

Those who identify themselves as “very conservative” were among the most dissatisfied, with 89% who view traditional journalism as out of touch.

Image: lyzadanger

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One Response to “Most People Now Rely On The Internet For News”

  1. Ed Roberts says:

    Interesting study. However, I’d be interested to see if these same people get their online news information from traditional news sources. So, instead of watching the 6 o’clock news, they visit the station’s website.

Leave a Reply to Ed Roberts