Thanks in part to new digital platforms, Americans are now spending more time following the news than in the past, according to a recent news consumption report from Pew Research Center for People and the Press. While the proportion of Americans consuming news from traditional sources is either stable or edging downwards, more people are accessing news through the Web, their phones, e-mail and social networks than ever.
The average American gets about 57 minutes worth of news per day from traditional sources such as radio, television and newspapers. This is the same amount as was reported in 2000. However, people are now getting an additional 13 minutes per day of news from online sources, taking the total news consumption to 70 minutes a day - not including time spent getting news on digital devices like cell phones.
What hasn't changed is the 17 percent of Americans that get virtually no news on a daily basis, which is about the same as in the past. While young people are integrating digital media into their lifestyles, they do not seem to be using these sources to get news at any higher rates than older Americans.
While it seems obvious given daily headlines, newspaper reading continues its decline, and is only partially offset by online readership. While 38 percent of Americans reported reading a newspaper in 2006, that number has dropped to 26 percent today. In addition, of people younger than 30 years old, that number drops all the way to 8 percent.
More people are actually "searching" for news. One third of those surveyed reported that they go to search engines to get news on topics of interest - an increase from 19 percent in 2008.
Understanding news consumption habits is increasingly important for marketers, as reaching the particular group of people you want to communicate with becomes both easier, due to demographic media consumption information, and harder, due to constantly evolving consumption habits.