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Survey: News consumers making transition

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NEW YORK — Consumers are quickly making recent technology part of their news habits and are consequently spending more time following what’s going on in the world, a survey released Sunday said.

People are spending an average of 57 minutes per day getting the news from television, radio and newspapers, the same as they did a decade ago, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. But they also spend an average of 13 minutes a day getting news online, making for a total amount of news time as high as any dating back to the mid-1990s, the organization said.

Roughly 33 percent of people surveyed said they went online for news the previous day, a number that goes up to 44 percent when cell phones, e-mail, social networks and podcasts are added, Pew said in the media consumption survey, which it takes every two years.

"It may be a sign of an era where news consumption will go back to the way it was," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "The transition from old to new is beginning to take place."

The survey found 26 percent of Americans said they read a newspaper in print the day before, compared to 38 percent in 2006. However, 17 percent of Americans said they read something on a newspaper’s website the day before, up from 9 percent two years earlier.

Pew’s survey also illustrated how many Americans are headed to their own corners in cable news viewing and radio listening. Eighty-four percent of people in liberal MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann’s audience say they approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance, with 80 percent of Rachel Maddow’s audience saying the same thing.

At the same time, 7 percent of conservative Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel viewers and 9 percent of Rush Limbaugh’s listeners say Obama is doing a good job, the survey said. Three quarters of Limbaugh, Hannity and Glenn Beck’s audiences identify themselves as tea party supporters.

Forty percent of Republicans say they watch Fox News Channel regularly, compared to 18 percent a decade ago, a strong factor in the network’s popularity, Pew said.

Pew researchers interviewed 3,006 adults via cell phones or land lines between June 8 and June 28. The margin of error is 2.5 percentage points.

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