iPhone, BlackBerry Owners Need Their News Fix
A new Pew Research Center report suggests 37% of next-generation smartphone users are continually scanning headlines.
Mobile phone subscribers customarily haven't used their handsets to get news, but that is likely to change as the more people purchase smartphones, according to a new survey of American adult consumers.
That is one conclusion that can be drawn from a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press report published this week that examines how Americans get their news. While TV remains the largest deliverer of news and search engine use for news is growing, the use of cell phones for news has been negligible. However, that will likely change as more Americans acquire smartphones.
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"The explosion in cell phone ownership since the mid-1990s has not had much of an impact on the public's news consumption," the report states. "Relatively few get news using these phones. But the next generation of phones -- iPhones and BlackBerries -- are now widely used for news. More than a third of smartphone users (37%) get news from these devices."
The high number for smartphone news use stands out in bold relief when compared with the relatively low percentage -- 4% -- of users who get their news from their conventional cell phones.
The Pew report indicated that smartphone news seekers display somewhat addictive online news usage; Pew noted that 31% of the smartphone respondents in its survey said they checked for news several times a day.
"While the demographic profile of cell phone users has come to more closely resemble that of the general public," Pew stated, "smartphone use remains dominated by the highly educated and well off."
The report also found a series of changes in news watching:
- Some 45% of "integrators" -- people who get their news from established sources as well as from the Internet -- log on to the Internet for news from work.
- Viewers of social networking sites -- typically young people -- get very little news from networking sites; about one-in-10 get news from those sites.
- Older Americans in their 70s are acquiring cell phones in growing numbers.
- While the use of search engines for news watching has remained constant, search engine news searchers are using the search engines more frequently.
- News-ranking sites including Reddit.com and Digg.com are used by just 5% of Internet news consumers, who are "disproportionately young and male."
The Pew Biennial News Consumption Survey was conducted this spring in telephone calls to 3,612 American adults across the country.