From our archives. Happy Holidays!

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has just released its latest biennial report on the news consumption habits of Americans. If securing news coverage plays an important role in achieving your organization's mission, and you don't read — actually, study — this report, you oughta be fired. Tons of media usage information here that is critical to planning effective media outreach strategies.

Just a sampling of findings:

  • Americans spend about 67 minutes/day getting their news from all sources;
  • TV is still the king of news – 57% reported getting news on TV in the last day (compared to 40% for newspapers, 36% for radio, and 23% for internet);
  • Online news is only a supplement to more traditional sources – the 31% who do use the web for news still spend more time getting news elsewhere;
  • The online news audience is growing up – as many people ages 50-64 regularly get news on the internet as do those in their late teens and early 20s;
  • Newspaper readership continues to fall (now dropping most with older readers), and local & community news continues to be the biggest draw for newspapers;
  • Only 17% say they follow national political news very closely (rising to 34% of liberal Democrats);
  • NPR is a clear winner – regular listeners have doubled to 17% since 1994 (25% of college grads listen regularly, and Dems outnumber Reps almost 2:1).

A supplementary Pew analysis of the online news audience is here. A key point: “Online news has succeeded largely because of its ability to package existing information rather than generate its own journalistic identity or cachet.” People who actually report still work predominately for traditional media entities.

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