Age Most Influential Demographic in News Consumption, Study Shows

Depending on age, people tend to get their local news from a variety of different mediums and sources, but one thing is for sure: the system is fragmented.

According to new data out from Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, most Americans get their information from a blend of new and traditional media sources.

Most striking among the findings, a whopping 69 percent of Americans said if their local newspaper stopped publishing it wouldn’t have a major impact on their ability to stay abreast to community information and happenings.

People continued to report television news as their number one source of information, but the topics they most often tune in to see have changed. Today, people trust television news mainly for weather, breaking news and to a lesser degree traffic information. Younger adults were found to rely on local television even less, signaling the possibility of a larger shift in consumption habits in the future.

Yet the data also suggests newspapers may play a larger role in day-to-day life than people realize. Print publications rank first (or tie for first) in 11 of the 16 different kind of local information Pew’s survey covered.

Age was the most influential demographic within the report’s findings. For those younger than 40 years of age, the Internet ranks (or ties) as the number one source for information in 12 of the 16 local topics. For those older than 40, newspapers still reign supreme, with the web coming in third to television news.

When all is said and done the survey found 64 percent of American adults use at least three different types of media each week to get their news and information. 15 percent use six different types weekly.

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