American Press Institute on The Personal News Cycle: How Americans choose to get their news

A long, but must-read piece on The Personal News Cycle. As we consider consumer engagement, crisis and content strategy, I will be quoting from this every week for the next year…

In contrast to the idea that one generation tends to rely on print, another on television and still another the web, the majority of Americans across generations now combine a mix of sources and technologies to get their news each week, according to the survey by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Where people go for news, moreover, depends significantly on the topic of the story — whether it is sports or science, politics or weather, health or arts — and on the nature of the story — whether it is a fast-moving event, a slower-moving trend, or an issue that the person follows passionately.

The data also challenge another popular idea about the digital age, the notion that with limitless choices people follow only a few subjects in which they are interested and only from sources with which they agree — the idea of the so-called “filter bubble.”

There are relatively few differences by generation, party, or socioeconomic status in the level of interest with which people report following different topics.

The data from the survey, which was designed to probe what adults distinguish most in their news consumption in the digital age, offer a portrait of Americans becoming increasingly comfortable using technology in ways that take advantage of the strengths of each medium and each device.

There are five devices or technologies that majorities of Americans use to get news in a given week.

The average American adult uses four different devices or technologies for news.

Three-quarters of Americans get news at least daily, including 6 out of 10 adults under age 30.

Nearly half of Americans with internet access have signed up for news alerts.

And the rapid growth in mobile technology is changing the mix. Among smartphone owners, 78 percent report using their device to get news in the last week.

Seventy-three percent of tablet owners use their device to get news. And people with more devices tend to enjoy following the news more. News consumers who use more technology are more likely to report that they enjoy keeping up with the news and are more likely to say that it’s easier to keep up with the news today than it was five years ago.

At the same time, these tech-savvy news consumers continue to use traditional platforms as well. For example, they are no more or less likely than everyone else to use print publications, television, or radio to access the news.

You have to read the whole thing…

The Personal News Cycle: How Americans choose to get their news – American Press Institute.