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The changing tide of media consumption

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a report detailing how people are now getting their news. Still the top source: local and national television news. The internet is ahead of local print and radio. Other interesting shifts from the report:

The internet and mobile technologies are at the center of the story of how people’s relationship to news is changing. In today’s new multi-platform media environment, news is becoming portable, personalized, and participatory:

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

In addition, people use their social networks and social networking technology to filter, assess, and react to news. And they use traditional email and other tools to swap stories and comment on them. Among those who get news online, 75% get news forwarded through email or posts on social networking sites and 52% share links to news with others via those means.

Community Comments

#1 Ted Dawson
March/4/2010
@ 8:20 am

The thing about the Internet is that everything can be easily tracked and measured. The Internet also loves to report on itself about how great it is.

It sounds more exciting somehow, and we have precise numbers to allow us to say, “people use their social networks and social networking technology to filter, assess, and react to news. And they use traditional email and other tools to swap stories and comment on them,” than to say, “The average newspaper is read by three people, and people often talk about what they read with other people.”

It’s also been well-reported that the Internet is the worst way to get news, because people can go read news and pseudo-news that agrees with their views. Even on objective news sites, readers don’t get a full spectrum of reporting like they do from a print magazine or newspaper. People are less informed than ever.

People need what a print newspaper editor can provide; essentially, readers need to be told what they need to know. This is apparent in what the Pew report states:

“Despite all of this online activity, the typical online news consumer routinely uses just a handful of news sites and does not have a particular favorite. And overall, Americans have mixed feelings about this ?new? news environment. Over half (55%) say it is easier to keep up with news and information today than it was five years ago, but 70% feel the amount of news and information available from different sources is overwhelming.”

I believe the same holds true with comics. In print, a new comic can be introduced and readers are ‘forced’ to give it a chance. I remember it was pretty cool to have my strip right between Blondie and Doonesbury. This is what helps give new strips a chance. The Internet can’t provide that, and it’s necessary in order to promote new comics.

#2 Jeff Stanson
March/4/2010
@ 9:00 am

Quote Pew: ?Despite all of this online activity, the typical online news consumer routinely uses just a handful of news sites and does not have a particular favorite.”

At least on the ‘Net, the reader does access a handful of news sites instead of just one. Most typically, this allows the reader to get multiple views and stories written from more than one angle or viewpoint, instead of just one.

Quote Ted Dawson: “People need what a print newspaper editor can provide; essentially, readers need to be told what they need to know.”

I have a 30-year history in the newspaper business, 28 as an editor, and I can tell you from experience most newspaper editors make only a portion of the decisions regarding what readers need to be told. Many of the decisions are made by publishers and corporate policies. And have no doubt about, these publishers and corporations (and many editors) not only believe “readers need to be told what they need to know,” they also believe readers need to be told what they need to think. It’s for this very reason that I am glad that the World Wide Web as a news source allows readers to access various views so that they can think for themselves.

#3 Tom Wood
March/6/2010
@ 3:15 pm

Yeah, but how will the end of newspapers affect the old loons who hoard newspapers?

http://tinyurl.com/ycxmagx

#4 Ted Rall
March/6/2010
@ 3:52 pm

In the future, the Collier Brothers will be crushed by the shells of obsolete e-readers.

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