Updated NASAA Member Directory

Thursday, October 2, 2008

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Did You Know?

News Audiences Blend On-line and Traditional Sources

The Pew Research Center for People & the Press has identified three segments of news audiences: Integrators, Net-Newsers, and Traditionalists.

Integrators account for 23% of news consumers and consist of well educated, mostly middle-aged individuals who get their news from multiple sources (traditional sources and the Internet). These individuals tend to be considered a more engaged, sophisticated, and demographically sought after segment of the population. Although they use multiple sources to acquire their news, traditional sources, such as television, remain their primary news source. Integrators tend to be heavier consumers of national news, especially politics and Washington, as well as sports news.

Other News Audience Findings:

  • 34% of people under age 25 say they do not get any news during the day, which is up from 25% in 1998.
  • Only 10% of people get news from social networking Web sites such as MySpace or Facebook.
  • 51% of CNN viewers are Democrats, 39% of Fox News viewers are Republicans.
  • Regular readers of news magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper's Magazine have the highest level of political knowledge.
  • Believability ratings for news aggregators such as Google News and AOL News are lower than for major print, cable and broadcast outlets.

The youngest of the news audiences, with a median age of 35, are Net-Newsers. Net-Newsers make up 13% of the news consumer pool and tend to be better educated than Integrators. The individuals in this group are leading the way in the use of new Web features and technology, and are likewise the most interested of all the segments in technology news. They are also more likely to read political blogs than to watch network news.

The most common segment within news audiences is Traditionalists, who make up 46% of news consumers. Traditionalists consist of an older population (median age 52) and are the least educated of the three segments, with 60% having no more than a high school education. Despite the boost in on-line news sources in the last 2 years (from 18% in 2006 to 25% in 2008), the most prevalent source for this group is still television. Traditionalists claim that seeing pictures and video helps them to better understand the content of a story, as opposed to reading or hearing the information. Traditionalists also express a strong interest in weather, and have relatively minimal interest in tech news or science.

Currently, 37% of the population goes on-line for news at least three days a week, compared to 31% in 2006. As the proportion of people using the Internet for news increases, the educational divide also is increasing. Presently, 44% of college graduates go on-line every day for news, compared to only 11% of people with a high school education or less.

For more information or to view the full report, visit http://people-press.org/report/444/news-media.