Fun Fact Friday – Why do modern news consumers get news online?
Posted on September 30, 2016
This month in our #FunFactFriday series we look at the modern news consumer. As a business concerned with the information needs of organizations and businesses, we are also interested in the attitudes and practices of the modern consumer of news and information.
This series takes as its background context data and analysis from the Pew Research study published online on July 7, 2016 entitled The Modern News Consumer. Written by Amy Mitchell, Jeffrey Gottfried, Michael Barthel and Elisa Shearer this study uncovers news attitudes and practices in the digital era among adults in the United States.
Intentions matter. So says this Pew Research study on the modern news consumer. We’re not surprised, so let’s break it down. According to the study, more digital news consumers get their news online as a byproduct of being online to accomplish other digital tasks (55% reported). Fewer people report (44%) that they specifically seek the news online. So it’s true, we are online banking, shopping, playing games (or conducting other online activity) and are distracted by a news story, which we then consume.
What about those people that are seeking news online?
News seekers who get news online are primarily going to websites to retrieve the news. Good for the websites, they also feel getting news online gives them a wider range of news than they would otherwise be able to retrieve. However, the same digital news seekers have a more negative view of the news media overall. Yikes! They’ve got work to do to shed that negative perception.
The digital news consumers appear to be digitally sophisticated as they are also more likely to click links to news stories in social media, and to post their own news links. As far as demographics, younger respondents indicated a preference to get news digitally (54% of the respondents in the 18 – 29 age group, and 38% of the respondents in the 30 – 49 age group).
Talk to us in the comments. Do you seek out news from online sources or do you stumble upon news while undertaking other activities online?
Thanks for reading this months #FunFactFriday series. Come back on Fridays in October when we’ll have a different series to contemplate. In the meantime, please add your comments about the digital distinctions you practice or observe with respect to the way you consume news and information online.
Pew Research Study Methodology
The results presented in the study that we’ll discuss over this month are from the American Trends Panel (ATP), created by Pew Research Center. The ATP is a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults. Data in the report are drawn from the panel during January and early February 2016 among 4,654 respondents. The panel study was conducted by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 4,654 respondents is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. (2016, p. 26)
Reference: Pew Research Center, July, 2016, “The Modern News Consumer”
photo credit: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain