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September 5, 2015

Where do you get your news?

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 18th 2008 8:02AM
Katie CouricPew Research Center's biannual survey on how Americans get their news revealed significant shifts underway from print to new media, and even from television to the internet. But it looks like that idiot box remains our number one source for just what's going on in the world around us. The article shows the demographics to be pretty much where you'd expect them to be as far as who goes where for their news. The younger, more affluent and/or more educated you are the more likely you are to go online for your news. The older, poorer and less educated you are the more likely you are to rely on the TV.

I live in a pretty small town that's chock full of poor, uneducated people and I can assure you that most of those citizens still think of computers as that fancy technology they use in them colleges and whatnot. And the Internets, well that's where you go for sin! But the young people, who have grown up with computers and the web are more savvy than their parents and if they can afford a computer, then they're online. Most are playing World of Warcraft, but they're still on there.

But for those that are watching television, more and more catching news on the specialty channels like Fox News and CNN. The biggest victims of these changing news patterns are those 6:30/5:30c national news casts. So it seems that there is a gradual shift in news gathering habits. When you are poor and can't afford anything, you get your news from network television. Once you get cable, you switch to the news boutique channels. Then when you get a PC, you start to get your news online.

And with more streaming video available, how can television compete with the immediacy and "on demand" abilities of online. If Katie Couric is talking about Obama and I want to know about Iraq, I can't change her topic, but online I can switch to a different page. The news scrolls along the bottom have tried to provide methods of getting as much varying news data into our brains at once, but even that is at the discretion of the network. Only online are we completely in control of what we lean, but that opens up a whole new discussion, then doesn't it?

The thing that's interesting to me is how these trends will continue to change the face of news in the future. Already, with each passing year the traditional paper newspaper sees drops in its circulation and a gradual increase in the median age of its readers. After all, I know I'd rather hit my home page of RSS news feeds and find out what's happening right now than wait until tomorrow and hope it happened before the paper went to press. We're an "in demand" society and even television news can only keep us so informed on the topics we're personally interested in. Magazines and newspapers haven't got a chance. Look at what's happened to TV Guide's circulation now that we can get the schedules online.

Hell, many of us get our news directly downloaded to our PDAs or cell phones these days. That way we could strip down to our Speedos and run up and down the streets screaming the moment Michael Phelps clinched that eighth gold. But how much can news and media transfer to the web? I still enjoy reading a newspaper from time to time, but I certainly don't read them daily as I used to so I could keep up with world happenings. Will there still be a place for newspapers as we know them now fifty years from now?

What about news on the television? Hell, will the television even exist as we know it, or will it just be an "in demand" portal to news and programming of all kinds. If so, what will we name this website? Already, how many young people have no idea what those sticks are coming out of the top of our logo, and with TV going digital, those won't even exist anymore!

Even though it's probably silly to do, considering that you're all already online and at least getting this from the web, but I'm going to ask anyway:

Where do you get most of your news?
Newspaper/magazines8 (7.5%)
Network television5 (4.7%)
Cable television19 (17.8%)
Internet71 (66.4%)
I don't keep up with news4 (3.7%)

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Melody Warbington

For local news, I read the weekend editions of my local newspaper and check the local internet site a couple of times a week.

For national news, I check internet sites (Rush Limbaugh, newsmax.com, newsbusters.com, foxnews.com, o'reilly.com) and watch Fox News (for fair and balanced reporting). I don't need an anchor to interpret the news for me...just report it.

For news about my hometown, there's no better source than my mother.

August 19 2008 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess I fall into both categories. I'm kind of old school in that I enjoy watching the news on the network (both national & local) and I also read alot online. I really like Google news because with each article they have links to many different news site &, while most of the information is the same, each has it's own style of writing. I think I'm the exception, though, because I'm a bit of a news junkie. I used to read the newspaper daily, but that's the one venue I've given up on. It justs seems silly to pay for a newspaper subscription when almost everything it is available online. I hope the papers can survive, though, because every now & then, I do like to sit down & read. My problem is that the 2 or 3 local papers just aren't very good anymore.

August 19 2008 at 3:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In this order, each day:

DrudgeReport.com (Internet)
NewsBusters.com (Internet)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio)
Special Report with Brit Hume (Cable)

August 18 2008 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have never watched network news and I don't intend to ever watch. I don't like my local newscast either. The problem with broadcast news, on tv or radio, is that you get the news that they want to give you in the order they think is best. That's why I like the newspaper. I get to pick what stories I read.
I think an actual paper is better than an online version. If you read online you will probably never get to certain areas like the police blotter to see that your former neighbor was picked up for drunk driving. Reading a paper you will see that page and might stop.
Reading the paper goes nicely with breakfast. Without it, what would you put in the birdcage?

August 18 2008 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I mooch off my father's paper subscription and read the Chicago Trib online. I also read the daily herald and southtown papers online for more local coverage. No subscription is necessary to view either of those. I do watch TV news in the morning to see what's happened overnight while I was sleeping and to get the weather and traffic reports, and its easier to listen while getting ready than sit down at a computer.

August 18 2008 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cable, Network, Internet mostly - however, I am in the car quite a bit and listen to talk radio too.

I feel sorry for my family member and friend who work for nationally distributed newspapers.

August 18 2008 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott Davis

When you look at national news yes. The internet is the fastest way to get that information, national, world and Metro, but once you head to your local (town or county) the one and only way of getting that news is from the local newspaper. So I see the downfall of the nationally published papers i.e. New York Times, USA Today and so forth but the local weekly papers from small towns those will stay so people can get there small news like bus routes for the kids to go to school, or what's happening with the mayoral candidates.

August 18 2008 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to scott Davis's comment

I don't know what town(s) you live, or have lived, in, but most I've lived in or visited have their newspapers online. The small town I grew up in (population about 12,000) has a newspaper that's been online for many years and the city I now live in has many online resources for local news. I have not wanted or needed to pick up a newspaper for at least a decade, but I can still keep up with local news both in my current city and my old home town.

So, no, in most cases there isn't just "one and only way" of getting local news.

August 18 2008 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott Davis

The local news is still being written and produced by your local newspaper. So no matter how you are reading the news from your local town i.e. the internet or the paper itself its still a small town paper producing it. As for your National and other major news those are coming from multiple sources such as CNN.com or other media outlets that have nothing to connect with a print medium. So if you are reading your local news from the internet good for you, yet your going to have to realize that the only people writing about it are not the bloggers or the new pundits, they are coming from the newspaper reports of your local paper.

August 18 2008 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

More specifically-- The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, ftw

August 18 2008 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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