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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Internet surpasses print newspapers as preferred source for national and international news

According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008 marks the year in which the internet surpassed print newspapers as the preferred source for national and international news. The survey included 1,489 adults and found that television continues to be the main source for news at 70%, followed by the internet at 40%, and newspaper at 35% (participants were allowed to choose multiple responses). However, these results do not actually indicate a decline in newspaper popularity but rather a sharp increase in internet popularity as a news source. Compared to the 2007 results, the newspaper percentage increased 1 percentage point from 34% to 35% while the internet jumped 14 percentage points from 24% to 40%.

When comparing the results of people between the ages of 18 and 29, the percentages for both television and internet are actually the same this year. In fact, when compared to the 2007 results, the television percentage actually decreased 9 percentage points from 68% to 59% while the internet increased 25 percentage points from 34% to 59%. While the presidential election, economy, and other events that occurred in 2008 may have contributed to the increase in internet usage as the preferred source, the results provide another signal of the tipping point from print to digital.

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