Internet Gains on TV as Primary News Source

By: From CBS News Tech Talk
By: From CBS News Tech Talk

A report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center shows that the internet is closing in on TV as the main source of national and international news for Americans. Fully 41% of Americans say they get their news from the internet.

That statistic hasn't changed much in the last two years, says Pew, but is up 17 percent from 2007.

Television is the most watched news source for most Americans, but that number has dropped in recent years. As recently as 2002, 82 percent of Americans got their news on TV. That number is now down to 66 percent according to the Pew survey.

These trends are likely to continue. The survey shows the internet is the main source of national and international news for people under the age of 30. The survey shows since 2007, 18- to 29-year-olds citing the internet has nearly doubled. Now 65 percent of people in that age range say they use the internet as their main national and international news source.

Keeping with age trends, the survey shows that the only age group not significantly using the internet more and more frequently for news is people aged 65 and older. That age group uses the internet but about half of them use newspapers and nearly 80 percent use TV as their primary source for national and international news.

None of those stats seem surprising. Internet trends have shown that younger people are more likely to use the web for many different types of communication.

More interesting is how the stats break down among education lines and monetary lines. College grads are about as likely to get their national and international news from the internet (at 51 percent) as they are television (54 percent).

The less education a person has, the more likely that person is to watch television for national and international news. Those surveyed with just a high school education cite television as their main source (75 percent) over the internet (29 percent).

The pattern holds for household incomes. People with more money cite the internet as their primary source more often than people who earn less.

As for television news providers, everyone's to be taking a hit. Cable news providers such as FOX News and CNN hold a 14-point edge over broadcast news outlets such as ABC and CBS, but all those groups are seeing falling numbers.

Local news fares the worst with 16 percent of people surveyed saying that's their primary source. The one bright spot in that statistic is that the number hasn't changed much for local news providers in the last five years.


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