Traditional News Outlets Not Dead Yet

According to the 2009 State of the First Amendment survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center, Americans still turn to traditional news sources for major news stories, despite the emergence of digital platforms like Twitter. Among the findings:

• TV was the first source for major news stories for 49% of respondents, followed by the Internet at 15%, radio at 13% and newspapers at 10%, which places traditional news media as the first source for 72% of Americans. Twitter, e-mails and social networking sites each were named by 1% of respondents.

• For 48%, TV is the primary source for follow-up reports on those news stories, followed by the Internet at 29% and newspapers at 9%.

• Just 3% of those who had an opinion on Twitter found it a “very reliable source of news” and 14% consider it “somewhat reliable,” while 21% said “not reliable at all” and 13% said “not too reliable.”

• Many Americans have yet to “tweet”; 49% of those responding didn’t know enough about Twitter to have formed an opinion. The “reliability rating” rose only marginally among the younger groups in the survey.

Source: First Amendment Center

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