Newpaper Reading Habits

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2012

Trends in News Consumption: 1991-2012

In Changing News Landscape, Even
Television is Vulnerable

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Andrew Kohut
President, Pew Research Center
Carroll Doherty and Michael Dimock
Associate Directors
Scott Keeter
Director of Survey Research
1615 L St, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel (202) 419-4350
Fax (202) 419-4399
www.people-press.org

www.people-press.org

www.people-press.org

Trends in News Consumption: 1991-2012

In Changing News Landscape, Even Television Is
Vulnerable
The transformation of the nation’s news landscape has already taken a heavy toll on print news sources, particularly print newspapers. But there are now signs that television news – which so far has held onto its audience through the rise of the internet – also is increasingly vulnerable, as it may be losing its hold on the next generation of news consumers.

Online and digital news consumption,
meanwhile, continues to increase, with many
more people now getting news on cell phones,
tablets or other mobile platforms. And perhaps
the most dramatic change in the news
environment has been the rise of social
networking sites. The percentage of Americans
saying they saw news or news headlines on a
social networking site yesterday has doubled –
from 9% to 19% – since 2010. Among adults
younger than age 30, as many saw news on a
social networking site the previous day (33%)
as saw any television news (34%), with just
13% having read a newspaper either in print or
digital form.
These are among the principal findings of the
Pew Research Center’s biennial news
consumption survey, which has tracked
patterns in news use for nearly two decades.
The latest survey was conducted May 9-June 3,
2012, among 3,003 adults.

Digital News Surpasses
Newspapers, Radio
Where did you get news yesterday?
75
68
56
50

54

Watched news on TV
57

56
Read a
newspaper
47

55

Listened to 43
radio news
25

0

35
34
24

39
33

29

29

Got online/
mobile news

90 91 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12
92

PEW RESEARCH CENTER 2012 News Consumption Survey.

The proportion of Americans who read news on a printed page – in newspapers and magazines – continues to decline, even as online readership has offset some of these losses. Just 23% say they read a print newspaper yesterday, down only slightly since 2010 (26%), but off by about half since 2000 (47%).

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The decline of print on paper spans beyond just newspapers. The proportion reading a magazine in print yesterday has declined over the same period (26% in 2000, 18% today). And as email, text messaging and social networking become dominant forms of communication, the percentage saying they wrote or received a personal letter the previous day also has fallen, from 20% in 2006 to 12% currently. There has been no decrease in recent years in the percentage reading a book on a typical day, but a growing share is now reading through an electronic or audio device.

While print sources have suffered readership losses in recent years, television news viewership has remained more stable.
Currently, 55% say they watched the news or a
Just a Third of Young People
news program on television yesterday, little
Watched Any TV News Yesterday
changed from recent years. But there are signs
2006
2012
Change
Watched news on
television yesterday …
%
%
this may also change. Only about a third (34%)
Total
57
55
-2
of those younger than 30 say they watched TV
18-29
49
34
-15
news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young
30-49
53
52
-1
people (49%) said they watched TV news the
50-64
63
65
+2
prior day. Among older age groups, the
65+
69
73
+4
percentages saying they watched TV yesterday
PEW RESEARCH CENTER 2012 News Consumption Survey.
Q13.
has not changed significantly over this period.

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The changing...
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