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Consumers crave news, but what satisfies their appetite?

July 13, 2016 | By Rande Price, Research Director – DCN @Randeloo

Both the immediacy and the mobility of news has anchored it as an important part of today’s life. In fact, more than seven in ten adults follow national and local news somewhat or very closely and 65% follow international news with similar regularity. Digital access appears to fuel American’s hunger for news, according to a new report from Pew Research Center, which conducted a study in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For example, at least a full 81% get at least some news through websites, apps or social networking sites.

Some key Findings:

Friends and family are important sources for news, even though consumers still rely on news organizations as their primary source. Trust in news reporting is an overarching problem however today’s online news consumers tend to place as much trust in the information they get from news organizations as they do in information coming from family and friends. Still, online news organizations play the larger role: 36% of online news consumers often get news from news organizations compared with about half as many who do so from people with whom they are close (15%).

Consumers are more cautious about news coming through social media. Close to two-thirds of U.S adults (62%) get news on these social platforms, however just more than one-third (34%) trust the information a lot/some.

Just as many consumers are loyal as are not loyal to their news sources. Just over three-quarter of respondents (76%) reported turning to the same sources over and over again. Importantly, consumers do pay attention to their digital sources. Among those who got their news three or more times from a link in a given week, at least 70% remembered the source half the time.

Consumer believe strong media bias exists in news reporting. Close to three-quarters of consumers (74%) feel that the news media favors one side. Another 75% of consumers credit the news organization for keeping leaders accountable and honest.

chart 1 accessing newsThe majority of consumers prefer to watch news on TV. When asked where consumers get their news, 57% reported TV, 38% stated online and only 20% said they get their news from newspapers. As one would expect, only 5% of younger consumers, ages 18-29s, often got news from a print newspaper in contrast to close to half (48%) of adults, age 65.

News remains an important part of public life with digital news consumption becoming increasingly mobile. As more people get their news online, it’s important to distinguish between those who seek out the news online versus those who stumble upon it. This is an important consumer distinction as news sites look to market to the news consumer.

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