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Poll reveals internet news preference

Graeme Parton

Consumers now have so much choice when it comes to finding news that traditional methods are beginning to wane. A new U.S. survey conducted by research firm Gallup has revealed that the number of people who turn to the Internet for updates is now double that of those who use newspapers.

Around 55% of those asked an open question about where they turn for news mentioned television. This was followed by internet users at 21%, while less than 10% said they use print media as their top source.

Of those who mentioned the internet, 2% specifically cited Twitter, Facebook or another social media platform.

Speaking in further detail about the findings, Gallup said:

“Heavy reliance on print is exclusive to seniors, among whom 18 per cent cite newspapers or other print publications as their main source of news. By contrast, six per cent to eight per cent of younger age groups rely on print.”

The results show how the decline of traditional newspapers is being fuelled by the accessibility of free content on subject-specific sites and user generated newsfeeds. Facebook and Reddit, for example, are hugely popular among younger internet users.

By providing regular news updates on their sites, business owners can look to maintain the interest of potential customers. Industry-relevant stories also tell consumers that the company owner is on top of the latest developments in the field.

Many of those who mentioned the Internet could, of course, be visiting the websites of newspapers, where most will be offering the same content with no charge. Some, however, are beginning to introduce paywalls, which will see users charged subscription fees for access to articles. As this becomes increasingly common, it is likely that more people will turn to the free alternatives to keep abreast of news.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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