Monday, March 23, 2009

NC voters prefer TV news over newspapers, online news

By Katherine Rumbaugh, PPP Spring Fellow

Even as technology progresses, print newspapers switch over to online versions, and more people turn to blogs and news websites, 56% of people in North Carolina report that the television is their favorite source for news.

This trend is, surprisingly, even stronger among the people who are supposed to be the most tech-savvy, the 18-29 age group; 65% of them report that the TV is their primary news source. Only 20% said they prefer reading an actual newspaper and 15% said they prefer online news.

Democrats are more likely to read a newspaper than Republicans, 63% of whom said they prefer TV news.

So, the idiot box is the most popular news source, and the most popular television news outlets are the ones with (in my opinion) some of the biggest idiots: cable news networks. 42% of respondents said they prefer cable news like CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC over regular broadcast networks (23%) and local TV networks (34%).

Between a national newspaper, like the NYT or WSJ, and a local paper, people overwhelmingly favor their local newspaper, 87% to 13%.

Among online news sources, the most popular are websites affiliated with newspapers, at 43%. That's a good sign for papers that might eventually have to switch to a solely online version. Blogs are only favored among about 6% for online news. That's probably because, at least so far, bloggers mostly comment on existing news rather than produce original reporting. Perhaps we need to step up our game?

Full results here

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