Americans prefer broadcast television as a source for news: Harris poll

MUMBAI: While there seem to be more outlets than ever for American adults to get news, a new Harris Poll shows that the majority choose to get their news most frequently from broadcast mediums.

These are the results of a Harris Poll of 2,985 adults surveyed online between 12 to17 January, 2006 by Harris Interactive. Three-quarters (77 per cent) of adults say they watch local broadcast news, and 71 per cent say they watch network broadcast or cable news several times a week or daily. On the other hand, one in five (19 per cent) US adults say they listen to satellite news programming or read a national newspaper (18 per cent) several times a week or daily.

While broadcast television news appears to be the most popular medium sought, many adults also get their news several times a week or daily by going online to get news (64 per cent), reading a local daily newspaper (63 per cent), listening to radio news broadcasts (54 per cent), listening to talk radio stations (37 per cent), listening to satellite news programming (19 per cent), and reading a national newspaper (18 per cent).

A key indicator of media usage is age. Specifically:

* Those 59 years of age and older are most likely to rely on more traditional media outlets for information, with at least eight in 10 saying they watch local broadcast news (88 per cent), watch network broadcast or cable news (88 per cent), or read a local daily newspaper (80 per cent) several times a week or daily.

* Baby boomers (those 40 to 58 years of age) use the most varied types of media, with at least one in five boomers using each medium examined several times a week or daily. Baby Boomers are most likely to watch both local and broadcast or cable television newscasts (83 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively), read local daily newspapers (66%), and listen to radio newscasts (64 per cent) and talk radio (40 per cent). Boomers and Gen Xers (those 28 to 39 years of age) are most likely to go online for news (68 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively).

* Generation Xers are most likely to get their news several times a week or daily from local broadcast stations (69 per cent) or online sources (68 per cent).

* Echo boomers (those 18 to 27 years of age) are the least frequent users of media, with only about half or less getting information several times a week or daily from each of the media types measured.

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