Pew Study Of News Consumption Shows Radio Declining But Ahead Of Newspapers
September 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM (PT)
A new PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR THE PEOPLE AND THE PRESS report on trends in news consumption over the last two decades shows radio news continuing to fall as a percentage of overall news sources for consumers but ahead of newspapers. The biennial survey shows television remaining in the lead for the question "Where did you get news yesterday?" with 55%, down from the 2010 survey's 58%, but the most striking result is the sharp rise for online and mobile news sources, which only first appeared in the survey at 24% in 2004 and has risen to 39% in this survey. Radio dropped from 34% to 33% but newspapers continued their free-fall; at 56% in 1991, the papers are now at 23%, with magazines dropping again to 17%..
More ominously for non-online sources, the numbers for traditional media look bleaker for younger demographics, including dips for cable and local news viewing, and many younger Americans are going "newsless," saying that they saw no news from any source YESTERDAY.
Younger people also show little interest in WASHINGTON and political news. But online and mobile news consumption continues to trend sharply upward, with social networks contributing to the rise (going from 9% to 19% in two years); Twitter is a relatively small part of that, with the bulk of social media consumption going to FACEBOOK, GOOGLE Plus and LINKEDIN.
The survey also offers demographic profiles of news and opinion outlets, with RUSH LIMBAUGH showing 27% of his audience being 65 and older, 24% 50-64, 31% 30-49. and 14% 18-29. Only BILL O'REILLY, SEAN HANNITY, and CHRIS MATTHEWS' cable TV shows had a larger representation in the 65+ category. LIMBAUGH's audience was also heavily Republican and conservative, 59% male, trailing only magazines like THE ECONOMIST and the WALL STREET JOURNAL in that respect, 29% college graduates, and in the middle of the pack for income profile with 30% over $75,000.
NPR skewed somewhat more towards the middle aged, with 17% over 65, 30% 50-64, 39% 30-49, and 13% 18-29, and the network's audience is a plurality of Democrats and moderates, 49% male and 54% college graduates, with 43% earning over $75,000 (second only to THE ECONOMIST).
A test of audiences' knowledge of current events by asking them four questions showed NPR listeners with 33% answering all four correctly and 29% getting three right; LIMBAUGH's audience had 19% getting all four and 42% getting three right.