Internet Surpasses Traditional Media as News Source

surfing web.jpg

This week, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism released their official findings on the state of news media. Called "The State of the News Media 2011," the report showed the Internet as the only growing medium for news in the United States. With only television maintaining its dominance over online news sources, all other forms—newspapers and radio among them—have been shrinking.

The study may have provided a prediction of online social networking's growing popularity. On the social aspects of reading the news, Pew reported:

Getting news is often an important social act. Some 72% of American news consumers say they follow the news because they enjoy talking with others about what is happening in the world and 69% say keeping up with the news is a social or civic obligation. And 50% of American news consumers say they rely to some degree on people around them to tell them the news they need to know.

In support of the desire to get news through "socializing," Twitter came out as a news medium to watch. Although trends on the social networking site indicate that certain topics dominate among its network of users (for example, technology news trumped political news), the stronger trend toward using social networking to obtain news will evolve as these young companies change, says Reportr.net.

The study also showed that there remains a strong resistance to commercial smartphone apps among Americans who get their news on iPhones or other app-based mobile devices. Only 10% of Americans who get news on their phones use apps to do so, and out of these, only 10% are willing to pay for these applications, according to Digital Trends.

Erik Sass of Media Daily News mentions that although news consumption on the Internet is up, most websites that have experienced the increase in users are run by traditional media sources, including newspapers.

As notions of press freedom change with this shift in the news industry, others continue to mourn the steady decline of traditional news media. Just today, the Crowley Political Report published a post featuring the Pew report, adding, "People have been signing the death warrant for newspapers for decades."

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