Internet gains as prime source for news

As the deployment of broadband technology proliferates, more people are using the Internet as their primary source for news, a new study has found.

More than 50 million Americans used the Internet as their primary news source each day during 2005, said a study, released last week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

In 2002, the number was 27 million. The dramatic increase tracks the rising number of Internet subscribers, which has risen from 20 million in 2002 to 70 million today.

Pew found that news consumption is now the third most popular activity on the Internet.

The study found that while 65 percent of dial-up users and 57 percent of broadband subscribers still use local and network television to get their daily news, it is no longer their exclusive source. Of broadband users, 46 percent overall used the Internet as a primary news source, compared with only 26 percent of dial-up subscribers.

Pew also found that there are 29 million “high-powered” broadband users — early broadband adopters who use the Internet frequently — in the U.S. Of those consumers, 71 percent use the Internet as a primary daily news source.

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