The most recent report of The Pew Research Center for the People and Press reveals the internet has surpassed television as the main news source for American young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.
The report found that, among this generation, 65% cited the internet as their main news source, a value that almost doubled since 2007 when it was at 34%. Television fell from 68% in 2007 to 52% in 2010, now in second place.
Among the next generation, aged 30 to 49, television still reigns but has been steadily losing ground to the internet. In 2007, the television was cited by 71% as this generation’s main source of news, yet fell to 63% in 2010, while the internet was 32% in 2007 and rose to 48% in 2010.
And this year, for the first time, the internet surpassed radio as the main source of news for Americans aged over 50, including the over 65 demographic.
The rise of the internet
Since the beginning of the millennium, the influence of the internet over news dissemination has risen faster than many could imagine, even a decade ago.
Among 18 to 29 year-olds, the internet rose as their primary source of news from 18% in 2001 to 65% in 2010, moving from fourth – behind radio, newspapers and television – to first place by the end of the first decade.
Among the other generations, the internet also gained ground.
For people aged between 30 and 49, the internet rose from last place in 2001 (16%) to second place in 2010, behind television.
For those between 50 and 64 years of age, the internet, as this generation’s main source of news, rose from 11% in 2001 to 34% in 2010, surpassing radio and closing the gap with newspapers.
As for those over 65 years, the internet as main news source rose from 1% in 2001 to 14% in 2010, thus surpassing the radio with 13%.
This report also found that the internet is more likely to be cited as a source of news by those with a college education than by those who have no more than an high school education. Among this latter demographic, television dominates with 75% of the answers.
Likewise, households with a higher income are also more likely to cite the internet as their main news source, while those with lower incomes are more likely to cite television.