Americans spending more time reading news

Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:32pm EDT
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By Bernd Debusmann Jr.

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Americans are spending more time reading the news now than they have at any time during the last decade, according to a new study.

The biennial report by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found that 34 percent of the 3,006 people questioned in the study had used the Internet to check the news the day before.

"The value of the study is in the trends it shows. They are reflective of the current environment, and document which changes have occurred over time, and which haven't," said Carroll Doherty, Pew's associate director.

About a third of people listed to the radio for their news, while 39 percent said they used traditional news sources such as newspapers and television.

The researchers were also surprised to learn Americans are augmenting traditional news sources with other technologies, rather than replacing them entirely.

If cell phones, email, social networking websites and podcasts are included, 44 percent of those questioned said they read the news on more than one internet or mobile source each day.

Thirty six percent reported receiving their news through both traditional sources and newer technologies.

"What we're seeing is the result of expanded possibilities in getting news," Doherty said. "Things evolve fairly slowly. Replacing (of traditional news sources with new technology) doesn't really happen, and people are comfortable with that."   Continued...

<p>Detroit Newspapers journeyman pressman Frank Brabenec proof reads for print errors a first edition of The Detroit News newspaper at the newspapers printing plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan December 16, 2008. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook</p>