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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another


More from Pew

Asked about their news use on a typical day ("yesterday"), just under a quarter of Americans (24%) say they went online for the news. That compares with 60% who watched TV news on the previous day; 42% who say they read a newspaper; and 40% who listened to news on the radio. About the same number of people say the read a magazine the previous day (25%) as went online for news.

In addition, people spend far less time in getting the news online on a typical day than they do getting news from traditional sources. About half of Americans (51%) say they spent at least a half-hour watching TV news the previous day; roughly a quarter say they spent at least a half-hour reading the newspaper (26%) and listening to radio news (25%). Just 7% say they spent that much time getting the news online.

In part, these differences reflect the unique role the Internet plays in daily life. While television and radio are sources of entertainment as well as news, the Internet also serves as a means of communication, a research tool and a virtual shopping center. Nearly as many Americans watched a news program on TV yesterday (60%) as watched any other kinds of non-news programming (63%). But when it comes to the Internet, fully 47% say they went online the previous day, but only half as many (24%) got news when they were there. More people say they emailed a friend or relative the previous day (28%) than went online for news.