The US trend away from getting news from papers and TV is continuing according to the latest Zogby research. The survey is worrying on two fronts for traditional media. On attitudes, it seems that Americans are shifting their trust online. The good news is the 70% think journalism is ‘relevant to their lives’ but 67% think ‘traditional journalism is out of touch with their lives’.
And here is where they say they get their news from:
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. Younger adults were most likely to name the Internet as their top source – 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. These oldest adults are the only age group to favor a primary news source other than the Internet, with 38% of these seniors who said they get most of their news from television. 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.
There is a lot of other interesting data in the survey that broadly supports a positive view of how new media is changing journalism. For example 75% of people believe the Internet has had a positive impact on the overall quality of journalism. This seems to contradict the warnings of people like Andrew Keen, but then he thinks the problem with the Internet is that it gives the public too much power.
The real debate now is not about whether the Internet matters for journalism. The real questions are about how news organisations should invest in networked journalism to ensure that people’s faith in the social value of journalism is re-paid.