The web is beginning to steal a march on television as the primary source of news for Americans, according to a new report in the US.
The Pew Research Centre study, based on a survey of almost 1,500 people, found that the internet has overtaken every medium except TV as the place people turn to for national and international news – a conclusion that many commentators say is hardly surprising.
TV remains in the lead, but there are signs that the medium is losing ground to the web – especially among younger people.
The number of young people claiming to use television as their main news source is on the wane, down from 68 per cent to 59 per cent in a year.
The web and TV are now tied as primary news sources for 18 to 29-year-olds.
“This is the canary in the coal mine for broadcasters, who, like newspapers, have been struggling with an aging mass audience for years,” says the report, quoted on the Lost Remote blog.
The Pew research found that the war in Iraq had fallen off most people’s news radar in 2008, dropping out of the top 15 most-followed news stories from sixth place last year. The economy came top.