Internet overtakes print in news consumption among Americans


Jacqui Cheng
Ars Technica
March 1, 2010

The Internet has surpassed newspapers as a primary way for Americans to get news, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. That makes the Internet the third most popular news platform overall, with many connected users taking advantage of nontraditional consumption methods such as social media postings, personalized news feeds, and getting their news on-the-go.

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National and local TV stations still dominate the news cycle for most Americans, but the Internet now stands third in the list, ahead of national and local newspapers. Additionally, the majority of news consumers say they use two to five websites per day to get their fix—a number we think sounds about right—but a surprisingly high number (21 percent) rely on that one favorite site to get everything they need.

Pew points out that consumers who don’t just rely on newspapers and TV are much more interactive with their news, too. A full third of those with cell phones said that they get their news while mobile, and 37 percent of those with Internet access reported having contributed to the creation of news themselves, commenting on it, or disseminating it via Facebook or Twitter.

And even though not everyone participates in commenting or sending it out, these methods are still quite effective in getting the general population involved. Three-quarters of people who consume news online said they do so thanks to e-mails or posts on social media sites. Those “e-mail a friend” or “post to Facebook” links apparently work well.

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