Americans Rely on Social Networks for News

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Despite the daily squabbling that magazines and newspapers are doomed, the truth is Americans still love the news, they just want a different kind of relationship. It’s complicated.

A new survey from Pew Research has shed some light on the modern American news consumer. It turns out that 92% of those surveyed use “multiple platforms” to get their news fix and six in 10 Americans get their news from a “combination of online and offline sources.” That means the majority of Americans still use traditional news sources like TV and newspapers, but they do so while surfing the Internet.

Perhaps more startling than this is the way users decide what news to read online. Three quarters of those who get their news online rely on social networking sites and stories forwarded to them through e-mails. On top of this, more than a third of online news readers have also “contributed to the creation of the news,” meaning they comment on stories and link to them. It seems we have become a nation of social news readers.

Clearly, if you’re reading this, we know you at least dabble in online news. Do you also read print media and watch TV, or do you just rely on the Internet? Do you feel like you decide what to read online mostly from stuff people tell you about, or do you have a few sites you check every day? Let us know in our comments section.

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