TV is Top Source of Economic News

Nearly half of Americans seeking news on the economy turn to TV, according to research conducted at Arizona State University. Newspapers were next, with 21 percent of the audience, followed by the Internet at 16 percent and radio at 8 percent.

A total of 450 heads of household with incomes of $50,000 or more were interviewed for the survey. Of those who specified television as their primary source of economic news, 56 percent said coverage was “good,” 6 percent said “excellent,” 30 percent, “fair,” 5 percent, “poor” and 3 percent said “not sure.”

Fox was No. 1 among networks, capturing 22 percent of the economically curious. NBC was next with 18 percent, then ABC and CNN, both with 15 percent. CNBC, which specializes in business news, had 8 percent of the audience, followed by CBS’s 7 percent.

The global economic meltdown was the top story in the genre for 2008. It was followed by the collapse of the housing market, the sub-prime mortgage debacle, world response to the meltdown and the drop in fuel prices. Unemployment and the collapse of the auto industry also rated mentions.

Six in 10 respondents said they had made financial decisions based on economic news received from media sources.

The research was conducted last November and compiled by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at the Arizona State University J-school.