Did you know that, according to a 2013 Pew study, one in three Americans use Facebook as their primary news source, and research firm McKinsey reveals that mobile devices account for 44% of global computing? The internet and mobile devices are changing the ways that Americans approach and digest news. Do traditional news sources have a place in the digital age, and how are younger generations getting news?
Traditional News Agencies Transition Online
Traditional news agencies and media groups continue to transition, more or less seamlessly, online. New sites can expound on timed television broadcasts, or allow internet goers to quickly search newspaper archives. Straightforward technology, such as RSS or really simple syndication, make it easy and convenient to follow a number of different new groups at the same time. Users can also choose to follow particular kinds of news, including Fox business news, The Wall Street Journal, NPR business news, and more.
Americans can use applications and e-readers to read online news articles from more traditional sources as well. U.S. men and women can, for example, download Flipboard and stream news directly to the application. Flipboard will arrange stories in a digital magazine format. Readers can also subscribe to The New York Times, and other popular publications, and read them directly from an e-reader, such as Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook.
Younger Generations Happen Upon News
Amy Mitchell, Pew’s Director of Journalism Research, reveals, “People go to Facebook to share personal moments – and they discover the news almost incidentally.” Younger generations, it seems, are not searching for the best news sources on the web. As a whole, Americans 18-24 are more likely to happen upon news, and they are less likely to discriminate between sources. (Reuters reveals that 70% of young Americans are drawn to a particular story due to subject matter. Only 20% attribute preferences to a particular news organization.)
The ways we are getting news are constantly changing. Americans can seek traditional sources (including NPR, The New York Times, Fox Business News, etc.), typically in even more comprehensive and easy-to-navigate forms, online. The latest trends, however, suggest that Americans simply stumble upon news incidentally.