Nearly half of all Americans are turning to the Internet to get their news against a backdrop of dissatisfaction with traditional journalism outlets, a new study has found.
Currently, less than one-third use television to get their news, while 11 percent turn to radio and 10 percent to newspapers.
Almost 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch. And while most think journalism is important to the quality of life, 64 percent are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities, a We Media/Zogby Interactive online poll found.
Nearly half of the 1979 people who responded to the survey said their primary source of news and information is the Internet, up from 40 percent just a year ago.
More than half of those who grew up with the Internet, those ages 18 to 29, get most of their news and information online, compared with 35 percent of people 65 and older. Older adults are the only group that favors a primary news source other than the Internet, with 38 percent selecting television.
Howard Finberg, of the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, FL, said the public often doesn't understand that the sources they are accessing online such as Google News and Yahoo News pull stories from newspapers, television, wire services and other media sources.
“It’s delivered in a nontraditional form, that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t traditional journalism underneath it,” he said.
However, Finberg said the study does support the belief among many large media companies that focusing on local issues is important to their journalistic and economic survival.