In recent years Americans have frequently changed the ways they get their news and, increasingly they are using their mobile phones to obtain news, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center.
In a survey of nearly 2,300 citizens, the Pew researchers found that 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their mobile phones, adding another platform to news acquisition, which includes TV, the Internet, newspapers, and radio.
"Americans access (news) in multiple formats on multiple platforms on myriad devices," the Pew survey stated. "The days of loyalty to a particular news organization on a particular piece of technology in a particular form are gone." Pew noted that the Internet is the center of the changing ways people get their news.
Social networking, paced by Facebook and Twitter, and also including e-mails and blogs, has caused the news consumption experience to become a social experience. People are increasingly filtering and accessing the news they obtain and then reacting to it. Smartphones, whose use is still accelerating, are playing a big new role in news consumption. "The ascent of mobile connectivity via smartphones has turned news gathering and news awareness into an anytime, anywhere affair for a segment of avid news watchers," according to the Pew report.
In spite of the rapidly changing news landscape, some things remain the same: checking weather forecasts remains the most popular online news subject, with Pew indicating that 81% of the survey respondents check online for weather updates.
TV continues to be the most popular news consumption platform for Americans, as local and national television news remains ahead of the rapidly gaining Internet as a news source, Pew said. Even so, most Americans routinely get their news from a mix of platforms and sources. On a typical day, almost 60% of Americans get their news from a combination of online and offline sources. Nearly 40% said they rely exclusively on offline platforms while just 2% rely exclusively on the Internet.
The Pew researchers found that 26% of Americans get news over their cell phones; that figure represents 33% of cell phone users.