According to a study released by the Pew Research Center For The People and The Press, the leaders in where Americans get their news are cable, local TV news, network news, the Internet, and local papers.
But what’s interesting in the Pew study, is how its own author of the online article explaining its results is so bent on showing what they claim is the reduced role of young people and social media, that the writer just plain misses by a freaking country mile clear and obvious major changes in how we get our news, even over the last four years, or since 2008.
To put it simple, the Pew study misses the fact that the Internet has become more of a mainstream news source for Americans of all ages than ever before. In 2008, 42 percent of Americans from 18 to 29 got their news online, but in 2012, while that decreased to 29 percent, there were increases in the other three age groups noted: 7 percent for 30 to 49, 1 percent for 50 to 64, and 6 percent for 65 and up.
The Pew study claims that overall there has been a “lack of interest in the early 2012 campaign among younger Americans, who have traditionally been the broadest internet news consumers, and who also are less apt to be Republicans.” That spells curtains for Republicans because it means their candidates and message aren’t getting young people excited in significant numbers. All of this is good for the Democratic President Barack Obama, who clicks with the young, the group that played a key role in his 2008 election to be President.
Social Media Misunderstood
As I’ve said on The Tonya Hall Show, Social Media is much more than Twitter and Facebook, but reading the findings of the Pew Study, you would not think so. While the study says that Twitter and Facebook play “modest” roles, it totally misses the role of YouTube and blogs – doesn’t mention it them all when both are key social media platforms. This error of omission hampers the Pew Study’s credibility and must be corrected.
Newspapers Decline In Role Most Dramatic
The other day my Mom, whom I’m here in Georgia visiting, got after me for the first time ever for buying a Sunday Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper when “We can get the news from the Internet. You’ve got a computer, and I’ve got an iPad.”
My Mom’s 78 years old.
The Pew Study shows that newspapers (or “local paper”) have went from 31 percent to 20 percent of all sources for news over the past four years, and from 40 percent in 2000 – a drop of 50 percent in 12 years! How newspapers like the AJC survive is a question, but what I see coming is an accelerated drop from 20 percent to 10 percent as the mobile and tablet market continues to grow from 2012 to 2016.
Cable And TV Rule
The end story: cable and television rule as sources for news about the Presidential Campaign. The Pew Study was released too early, because if the Republican primary isn’t generating any buzz with young people, the implication is the general election will, when the focus turns to the President himself. Pew should consider another round of study.