News Flash: “Readers don’t seem to really care about what organization they’re getting their news from, or what device format they’re reading on; what matters, really, is the news itself,” writes Chris Gayomali in FastCompany.
“According to the findings, four in 10 Americans said they got their news from social media like Twitter and Facebook. But more than 80% said they also go directly to news organization websites for updates, too.”
Gayomali is reporting on the Media Insight Project and their recent survey on news consumption trends by Americans. And the trend is toward a multi-channel approach, with surprisingly little variation among age groups.
“Where people go for news, moreover, depends significantly on the topic of the story — whether it is sports or science, politics or weather, health or arts — and on the nature of the story — whether it is a fast-moving event, a slower-moving trend, or an issue that the person follows passionately,” according to a press release from the American Press Institute (API), one of the sponsors of the project.
“There are relatively few differences by generation, party, or socioeconomic status in the level of interest with which people report following different topics,” the API article continues.
Gayomali points out an interesting fact from the research. “…the overwhelming majority of Americans have no problem relying on multiple information channels to get their news. Although conventional wisdom might suggest otherwise, loyalty to a few primary sources just wasn’t there.”
The data also suggests that social media is not “replacing” traditional sources of news, but rather “it’s adding to the existing news cycle and augmenting it in a way that wasn’t there a decade ago,” writes Gayomali.
It’s validation of the idea that the message influences the media, and while digital information bites serve their immediate purpose, they are not likely to replace the more in-depth engagement of long-form content from trusted sources.