Policy: Technology

Pew: 50% get news on Internet, 64% of smartphone users read news on devices

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Media,Technology

Half of the nation now gets their news on the Internet, twice that of newspapers and radio, and those who use smartphones and tablets like the iPad and iPhone overwhelmingly consume news on their devices, according to a new collection of Pew surveys.

“The Internet and digital devices are changing our news consumption habits,” said Pew in revealing their “12 trends of digital news.”

While just 18 percent of Americans said that the Internet was their main source of news 10 years ago, that has jumped to 50 percent and could equal or replace TV as the top news source in about five years, a stunning change that reveals how fast the nation is giving up traditional news sources and delivery vehicles.

The top five of 12 trends cited by Pew:

1. More Americans get news online; 50 percent of the public now cites the Internet as a main source for national and international news, still below television, but way above newspapers and radio.

2. 71 percent of those 18-29 cite the Internet as a main news source. Among those 30-49, 63 percent say the Internet is where they go to get most of their news, matching the percentage who say television is their top news source for the first time.

3. Social media has grown as a source for news with 19 percent of Americans saying they saw news on a social network "yesterday."

4. More adults consume news on mobile devices, with 64 percent of tablet owners and 62 percent of smartphone owners getting their news on their devices.

5. Most mobile news users get most of their news through a browser — 60 percent of tablet news users and 61 percent of smartphone news users get news mostly from their device's browser.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.
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