Americans and What They Think of Their News

From Oct. 8-12, 2010, 2,095 adults in the U.S. were surveyed by the new 24/7 Wall St. /Harris Poll. The new poll found out what has become a common belief in society today: that traditional media is becoming obsolete.

Though 67 percent of these Americans surveyed online voted that they “[still] prefer to get their news in traditional ways,” 55 percent of the same people surveyed also believe that “traditional media will no longer exist in 10 years,” according to the Harris Poll.

According to this same pool, many Americans go online looking for news and information and 46 percent say that the first places they look to are local television news stations’ websites, while 33 percent go to local newspapers’ websites and 31 percent go to network television news’ websites. This helps to illustrate that it is the traditional media platforms at risk, not necessarily the actual traditional brands and companies. Trusted sources are still the first ones turned to; people are just looking for them in different places and different ways.

However, how people consume their news is definitely changing. 2 in 5 adults claim they do not go to national print newspapers in for their news and 3 in 10 adults claim they spend more time online visiting news websites then in the past.

As the Internet continues to grow, the generations reaching adulthood that has grown up with the Internet are drastically changing the media industry. Only 33 percent of adults older than 55 use the Internet for news, but 65 percent of 18-34 year olds do according to the Harris Poll.

The most obvious changes are that a society where countless options and alternatives are available, trusted sources will be the ones most likely to survive. As young Americans continue to embrace the changing media, it will also be the local news that is most likely to survive. Local news sources can provide in-depth, trusted angles and information that hits closer to home and is thus more appealing.

Either way the media industry is changing and this fact must be accepted and fully understood in order for traditional media to adapt and survive.

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About Meghan Mangrum

Writer | Reporter | Storyteller.
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