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Survey: Newspapers retain role as primary source of news

Published March 18, 2014 9:44 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Like all news organizations, The Salt Lake Tribune is intensely interested in how news consumers' habits are changing.

A new study out this week offers some insight — and a few surprising conclusions.

Chief among those surprises is a finding by the Media Insight Project that dispels a widely held belief that people, depending on their generation, turn to just a few primary sources for news.

"In contrast to the idea that one generation tends to rely on print, another on television and still another the Web, the majority of Americans across generations now combine a mix of sources and technologies to get their news each week," the study concludes.

Print newspapers and magazines remain a primary source of news, as do laptops/computers, television, radio, smartphones and tablet computers. According to the Media Insight Project, an initiative of American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which surveyed nearly 1,500 adults from Jan. 9 to Feb. 16, the average American uses four distinct mediums to access news.

The study adds that where people turn for news depends largely on the topic.

According to the study, "People turn to newspapers, whether in print or online, more than any other source specified, and in relatively high numbers for a wide range of topics."

It adds: "They are most likely to turn to newspaper media for news about their local town or city, for news about arts and culture, and for news about schools and education."

Those of us who work at The Tribune consider this great news as our offerings across platforms continue to evolve.

If you're interested in this topic, you can find additional information by clicking on the links below:

The Associated Press (This is the story published Monday at sltrib.com)

American Press Institute

Fast Company

Columbia Journalism Review

Poynter Institute