Broadband users get their news from the Net, not TV

FROM THE Pew Internet & American Life survey.

By the end of 2005, 50 million Americans got news online on a typical day, a sizable increase since 2002. Much of that growth has been fueled by the rise in home broadband connections over the last four years.

For a group of “high-powered” online users – early adopters of home broadband who are the heaviest internet users – the internet is their primary news source on the average day. Within this group – which makes up 40% of home high-speed internet users in the United States – 71% go online for news on the average day, while 59% get news from local TV. Just over half get news from national TV and radio on the typical day and about 40% turn to local papers.

“The broadband difference is now permeating the news environment,” said John B. Horrigan, Associate Director for Research at the Pew Internet & American Life Project and principal author of the report. “High-powered internet users are heavily into other media sources as well, but the preeminent place of online news suggests that it shapes their offline information choices in an important way.”

Across age groups, the impact of online news is greatest for American adults under the age of 36 with a high-speed internet connection at home. For this age group, the internet is now on par with local TV as a daily source for news, and surpasses national TV, radio, and local papers as a news source. Fully 46% of this group gets news online on the typical day, compared with 51% who turn to local TV, 41% who turn to radio, and 40% to national TV news…