More than half (55%) of American adults still say they turn to TV for news about current events, with Fox News Channel as the leading source, according to a new poll by Gallup. Of those 55%, 26% simply said television or TV news while 8% said Fox News, 7% identified CNN and 4% cited local news. 21% of poll respondents say the Internet is their main source of news while 9% say newspapers or other print publications, followed by radio, at 6%.
Surprisingly, half of 18- to 29-year-olds say TV is their main news source, which is the same percentage as with 30- to 49-year-olds. No other specific channel — including MSNBC, PBS, BBC, and the U.S. broadcast networks— is mentioned by more than 1% of Americans.
There is so much here that is interesting. What jumps out at me is even thought Fox News Channel has existed for less than 16 years, it obliterated the big 3 network newscasts in this poll. To be fair, the big 3 evening newscasts still show up well in the ratings, but they are only delivering about 23 minutes of news a day. Also interesting is the paltry 2 percent that Facebook/Twitter Social media received in this poll. I mention this because of the high number of people that I know than mentioned to me that they first heard of the recent plane crash in San Francisco on Facebook or Twitter. Although social media might be providing the first alert to many, it seems as it is driving them to other news sources including TV for coverage.
So what does it mean for our clients, and how does it play into their media plans? If you drill down in the report, you will see that only Fox News and CNN are mentioned by name. However, no other specific channel — including MSNBC, PBS, BBC, and all of the U.S. broadcast networks that once dominated the news landscape — is mentioned by more than 1% of Americans. We also see that TV us still the primary news source for all age groups surveyed. Few if any say their main news source is radio. In additional to older Americans, highly educated Americans — college postgraduates — put the most emphasis on newspapers or other print publications, with 19% naming it as their main source of news. However, this drops to 7% among college graduates, 8% among those with only some college education, and 7% among those with no college experience.
See the entire report here.