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Newsrooms need to step up their mobile game to satisfy the mobile majority

July 25, 2018 | By Rande Price, Research Director—DCN @Randeloo

Americans’ changing news habits have an incredible impact on how we function as an informed society. Mobile is now the most common way US adults get news, outperforming desktop or laptop computers according to a newly released study from the Pew Research Center. In fact, more U.S. adults report they get news on a mobile device (58%) than those who get news on a desktop or laptop computer (39%). Nearly all (96%) access news via the internet. The study is based on responses from over 5,000 adults from the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults.

Demographics

  • Not surprisingly, older adults, ages 65+, are more likely to get their news on desktop than on mobile (47% vs. 37%, respectively). While younger adults, ages 18-29, are more likely to get their news on mobile than desktop (71% vs. 32%, respectively). The research also shows men (60%) often get their news on mobile more than women (56%).
  • Interestingly, more nonwhite adults (61%) get their news on desktop versus white adults (56%). Partisanship also plays a role in mobile news use. Democrats (62%) are more-likely than Republicans (54%) to use mobile to access their news.
  • College degree users (66%) are more likely to get their news on mobile than those without a college degree (51%).

Content Creation & Delivery

It’s important for journalists and newsrooms to keep the mobile majority in mind. They must ensure that their work is accessible through mobile devices and create an optimal user experience for these news consumers. And given that almost every reporter is likely to have a phone in hand, news organizations should be working on their mobile journalism. “Mojo” focuses on teaching reporters to produce quality articles by just using their phones.

Undoubtedly, mobile offers a convenience for journalists and content consumers alike. And, given the newly minted mobile-majority, news sites need to hone their mobile skills inside and outside the newsroom.

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