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TV tops Americans' sources of news; Web, mobile come on strong as tapping multiple platforms

More than nine out of 10 Americans rely on several media platforms on a daily basis to access news, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Fully 92 percent of Americans use various platforms daily, and the Internet has climbed to No. 3 on the list of most popular news sources, surpassing national and local print newspapers and radio to come in behind local and national TV, the survey found.

According to the findings, 59 percent use both online and offline news sources on a normal day, while only 7 percent get their daily news from a single media platform. Single-sourcers typically turn to local TV or the Internet as their sole source, the Pew study found.

Portable, personalized and participatory characterize how Americans relate to the news in today’s new multiplatform media environment. For instance, one-third of cell phone users now access news on their phones, the survey found. Twenty-eight percent of Internet users customize their home page to include news and topics they’re interested in, and 37 percent are disseminating news, commenting on it or creating it via social media network postings.

Other findings include:

• 61 percent of Americans get news online on a typical day, and 71 percent get news online at least occasionally.

• 72 percent of American news consumers say they follow the news because they enjoy talking with others about it, and 69 percent say keeping up with the news is a social or civic obligation.

• 57 percent of online news consumers rely on two to five Web sites; 35 percent have a favorite.

• Portal Web sites like Google News, AOL and Topix are the most commonly used online news sources. Traditional news organizations with online presences, such as CNN, BBC and local newspapers, are also popular.

• The 26 percent of Americans who get news on their cell phones are typically white males, median age 34, who have graduated from college and are employed full time. Overall, cell users under age 50 are almost three times as likely as their older counterparts to get news on their cell phones (43 percent vs. 15 percent).