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Survey: 17 percent of Americans get no news on an average day

April 27, 2012

Technology continues to change how people interact with news, according to a new survey from Pew Research. In a presentation for the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, Lee Rainie, director, Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, discussed what the findings revealed about today’s expanding definition of news and how consumers navigate different platforms to find the information they want.

The following are some key findings from the presentation:

  • Newspapers are critical to civic life, and are the most important source of information on community events, crime, taxes, local government, culture, social services and zoning.
  • Two-thirds of smart phone owners use their device to access news.
  • Between 20 and 40 percent of consumers contribute to the news.
  • People now graze on news all day. Between 2002 and 2012, the percentage of Americans who "check news from time to time" rose to 57 percent from 48 percent. Meanwhile, 38 percent of Americans now "get news at regular times," down from 49 percent in 2002.
  • Consumers tend to exploit multiple platforms. Fifty-nine percent of Americans use offline and online sources in a typical day.
  • On a typical day, 78 percent of Americans access news through local TV, 73 percent through national networks or cable and 61percent through the Internet. — Kyra Auffermann


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