Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources

Aug 17, 2008

For more than a decade, the audiences for most traditional news sources have steadily declined, as the number of people getting news online has surged. However, today it is not a choice between traditional sources and the internet for the core elements of today's news audiences.

A sizable minority of Americans find themselves at the intersection of these two long-standing trends in news consumption, according to the Pew Research Center's biennial news consumption survey. Integrators, who get the news from both traditional sources and the internet, are a more engaged, sophisticated and demographically sought-after audience segment than those who mostly rely on traditional news sources. Integrators share some characteristics with a smaller, younger, more internet savvy audience segment - Net-Newsers - who principally turn to the web for news, and largely eschew traditional sources.

Like web-oriented news consumers, Integrators are affluent and highly educated. However, they are older, on average, than those who consider the internet their main source of news. Overall, Integrators spend more time with the news on a typical day than do those who rely more on either traditional or internet sources; far more enjoy keeping up with the news a lot than in any other news segment.

Integrators also are heavier consumers of national news - especially news about politics and Washington - and are avid sports news consumers. Television is their main news source, but more than a third cite the internet as their primary source of news during the day. This reflects the fact that a relatively large proportion of Integrators log on to the internet from work (45%).

The 2008 biennial news consumption survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press was conducted by telephone - including both landline phones and cell phones - from April 30 to June 1 among 3,612 adults nationwide. It finds four distinct segments in today's news audience: Integrators, who comprise 23% of the public; the less populous Net-Newsers (13%); Traditionalists - the oldest (median age: 52) and largest news segment (46% of the public); and the Disengaged (14%) who stand out for their low levels of interest in the news and news consumption.

Read the full report Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

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