Thursday, October 10, 2013

Two Decades of Shifting News Sources

by Jeff Stanger

The chart below shows trend data from 28 national surveys conducted between 1993 to 2013 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Pew asked American adults: "How do you get most of your news about national and international issues? Television, newspapers, radio, magazines, Internet." Television as a primary news source for the public has dropped from a high of 88% in January 1996 to a current level of 69%. Newspapers continue their decline as a source — they've fallen from a high of 63% in September 1995 to 28% currently, slipping from 31% in 2011 when Pew previously conducted this survey. Meantime, the internet has risen steadily — passing radio in July 2003, newspapers in December 2008, and continuing to close the gap with television. When Pew first included "the internet" in January 1999, only 6% of American adults named it as a source for news on national and international issues. In Pew's 2013 survey, 50% said they use the internet as a primary source for news, up from 43% in 2011.

Roll over years to display data. Drag several years to zoom the chart. Toggle a line by clicking an item in the legend.

America's News Sources, 1993-2013

Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Notes: Numbers add to more than 100% because respondents are allowed to name up to two news sources. The chart excludes six surveys in which Pew changed the question wording to ask about particular news events: "killing of Osama bin Laden," "Haiti earthquake," "Hurricana Katrina," "War in Iraq," "terror attacks," and "Persian Gulf.") It includes only the 28 times Pew used the standard wording "news about national and international issues."

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