Americans – of All Ages – Still Turn on the TV First for News

July 10, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Newspapers | Radio | Television | Youth & Gen X

Gallup-Preferred-News-Sources-by-Age-July2013TV is Americans’ primary source of news, and despite the rise of all things internet, it’s not even a close race, according to survey results from Gallup. Asked their main source of news about current events in the US and around the world, 55% of survey respondents chose TV, with the internet coming in a distant second at 18%. Print (9%) and radio (6%) are considerably less popular as primary news sources, although there are some strong age dynamics in play.

TV’s reign is most prevalent among older age brackets (mirroring consumption trends in general), named the primary source by 58% of 50-64-year-olds and 68% of those 65 and older. By comparison, exactly half of the younger groups (18-29 and 30-49) see TV as their primary news source.

Predictably, the internet has greater influence among those younger age groups: it was chosen as the primary source by 27% of 18-29-year-olds and 28% of 30-49-year-olds, compared to just 6% of the 65+ crowd.

Print also is subject to a strong age dynamic, indicated by 18% of the 65+ bracket to be the primary news source, versus 6-8% among younger groups.

Other Findings:

  • The influence of TV tends to decline alongside rising educational attainment. TV is the preferred source for 61% of respondents with a high school education or less, but drops to (a still-leading) 43% among post-graduates.
  • Sticking with the education breakdown, the survey shows that college graduates (32%) and post-graduates (27%) place the most focus on the internet, while print is most popular among post-graduates (19%) by a significant margin.
  • Full- or part-time employees are less likely to turn to TV as their primary source as those not currently working (49% vs. 63%), but are far more likely to turn to the web for news (26% vs. 15%).
  • Republicans (63%) are more likely than Democrats (54%) and Independents (52%) to name TV as their primary news source, while Democrats are the most reliant on print (12%).
  • Fox and CNN are the primary source of news for 8% and 7% of respondents overall, respectively. Among Republicans an outsized 20% named Fox News their primary news source.

About the Data: Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 20-24, 2013, with a random sample of 2,048 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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