Public favors Internet over TV as top news source, poll says

A new We Media/Zogby Interactive poll has found that 48 percent of Americans say their top source of news is the Internet, compared to 29 percent that chose television.

Overall, the survey found that Web sites are regarded as a more important source of news and information than traditional media outlets. Eighty-six percent of Americans said Web sites were an important source of news, with 56 percent regarding the sites as very important. A total of 77 percent said TV was an important source of news, with radio and newspapers chosen as an important source by 74 and 70 percent, respectively.

The online survey found 48 percent responding that their primary source of news and information is the Internet, up from 40 percent a year ago. Younger adults were most likely to name the Internet as their top source. Fifty-five percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said they got most of their news and information online, compared to 35 percent of those age 65 and older.

These oldest adults are the only age group to favor a primary news source other than the Internet, with 38 percent saying they get most of their news from television. Overall, 29 percent identified television as their main source of news, while 11 percent said they turn to radio and 10 percent read newspapers for most of their news and information. Only 7 percent of those ages 18 to 29 said they get most of their news from newspapers, while more than twice as many of those age 65 and older list newspapers as their top source of news and information.

The survey also found significant dissatisfaction among the public with traditional journalism. Sixty-seven percent of Americans said they believe traditional journalism is out of touch with what Americans want from their news.

A total of 70 percent of Americans think journalism is important to the quality of life in their communities, and 64 percent said they are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities.

The Zogby Interactive survey of 1979 adults nationwide was conducted Feb. 20-21, 2008, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.

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