How Do Most Americans Find out about News and Current Events?

For generations, newspapers were dominant and reliable sources of current events for the American public. The immediacy of online information, however, has been eroding the popularity of newspapers for years. In 2018, social media sites finally overtook newspapers on the list of go-to news sources. According to data from the Pew Research Center, 20 percent of Americans say they often get their news via social media, eclipsing print sources -- now only 16 percent -- for the first time. Overall, however, television broadcasts are still the most popular news platform, with around 49 percent of Americans regularly tuning in, although this is down from 57 percent in 2016.

News that Americans use:

  • News websites, including sites produced by companies that also print newspapers, are the go-to news platform for 33 percent of Americans, up from 28 percent in 2016.

  • Age is an important factor in determining favorite news sources. Individuals aged 18 to 29 are four times more likely to get their news from social media than those aged 65 and over, who tend to prefer television and print.

  • Among TV news viewers, the most popular source is locally-produced programming, followed by cable news, and finally by evening news broadcasts by the national networks.

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More Info: Pew Research Center

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