Online News: Should You Be Reading This at Work?

Source Organization: Pew Research Center

Author: Richard Auxier

09/15/2008 - The internet is allowing Americans to stay constantly informed and updated with the news of the day -- on the company dollar. Of the 44% of the public who regularly go online while on the job, more than two-thirds (70%) check the news during the course of the day according to a recent Pew Research survey on media trends. While some of these people have jobs where the news is important to their work, the majority admit they could be fully efficient in performing their assigned tasks without keeping up to the minute on the latest foreign or domestic policy happening, or even the latest campaign gaffe or celebrity gossip.

Most Americans don't need to keep abreast of the news while they're on the clock. While keeping up with the news is important for four-in-ten Americans (41%) who regularly use the internet at work, a clear majority (59%) have no need for the latest news.

Yet those with no need for news are almost as likely to get news during the day as those who require news. Among those who go online regularly from the office, 67% say they get news at work even though it is not necessary for their jobs, almost as many as the 73% who get news and have jobs that require it. Interestingly, 32% of those who have jobs where the news is important don't actually get it during the day.

Most of these news junkies are using the internet -- in the safety of their cubicles -- to get their fix.

Read the full report Online News: Should You Be Reading This at Work? on the Pew Research Center Web site.

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