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Online overtakes print as a news source

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 14th September 2010

It’s been coming! A recent Pew Research Centre study has revealed that in the US, the internet has officially overtaken newspapers as a source of news.

In the study, 34% of those polled said they had gone online for news the previous day, while only 31% said they had read a newspaper. This is compared to results from 2008 when 29% of respondents had used the web for news compared to 34% that had read a newspaper.

Some good news for traditional media

It’s not all doom and gloom though as the study finds that rather than merely replacing traditional media, the internet is often complementing news consumption. According to Pew: “Americans are increasingly integrating new technologies into their news consumption habits. More than a third (36%) of Americans say they got news from both digital and traditional sources yesterday, just shy of the number who relied solely on traditional sources (39%). Only 9% of Americans got news through the internet and mobile technology without also using traditional sources.”

ABC Results

These results come on the day when the August print newspaper ABC audit is out. The headline finding is that six national newspapers have suffered double-digit year-on-year fall in circulation last month. The Times dipped below a 500,000 circulation for the first time since 1994. However, it is worth noting that the stripping out of bulk sales from the circulation numbers (multiple copies sold to hotels and airports at a reduced price) has exaggerated the rate of decline.

So while online is certainly the growth area, it’s interesting to note that print still has its place.

photo credit: aloshbennett

Danny Whatmough