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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

New Pew Center poll reveals: News is now a serious social media experience

1

March

Social-news-outlets Are you reading this post because you came to the page from Twitter, Facebook or some other social media platform?

You're not alone. News consumption has become a social media experience for about one-third of the population, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet 7 American Life project and it's Project for Excellence in Journalism released today. The results are based on a telephone survey of 2,259 adults age 18 and up.

The bullet points:

•    37% of Internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. 

Cellphones-news •    33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
•    28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.

It's not surprising that online news sources have surged ahead of national and local newspapers to become the third-most common source of information for news consumers (behind local and national TV news).

And, if you've been paying attention to the POJ's studies on the state of journalism, it's also not surprising that we've become a nation of news-grazers, with 59 percent of people getting daily news from a combination of online and offline sources.

Wecanblogit-image Other interesting points:

72% of news consumers follow news because they like talking about it with friends.

75% get news forwarded to them through email or social networking sites.

57% of online news consumers rely on two to five Web sites for their news.

70% say the amount of news and information available is overwhelming.

71% say most news sources today are biased in their coverage.

It's sobering but expected news for print organizations especially, who have watched consumers flow onto less-profitable online sites, get confused by the sheer amount of information available and lose trust in news institutions.

It's my own pet theory that the weaknesses of established news organizations revealed by the Internet -- thank you again, Jayson Blair -- combined with the active critical propaganda from partisan outlets such as Fox News and Media Matters has seriously eroded public confidence in mainstream journalism.

Now comes the question no poll can answer: What are we going to do about it? 

Check out the full study by clicking here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:05pm]

    

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