Newspapers Sink in Last Election – Blogs Rock

The Pew Internet Project published a new survey that documents the rise of the Internet as a source for political information.

A post-election, nationwide survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press shows that the online political news consumer population grew dramatically from 18% of the U.S. population in 2000 to 29% in 2004. There was also a striking increase in the number who cited the internet as one of their primary sources of news about the presidential campaign: 11% of registered voters said the internet was a primary source of political news in 2000 and 18% said that in 2004.

This survey also spells doom for daily newspapers, as Editor & Publisher observes, at least as a source for political news.

In 1996, only 3% of those surveyed called the Web one of their two leading sources of campaign news. In 2004, the figure was 18%. Reliance on TV rose slightly from 72% to 78% but prime use of newspapers plunged from 60% to 39%.

Funny thing is, as Agenda Bender notes, a quick news google on that story reveals that the websites of the major daily newspapers are ignoring this story. So the websites of major news organizations (=the winners) are ignoring a story that points out how their paper-based owners/affiliates (=losers) are becoming obsolete. Hardly surprising, though, as they have been missing stories all along.

A table I find quite interesting in the report is titled “The political and media landscape in 2004” (p.13) and especially the bottom half. Rush Limbaugh and John Stewart (Daily Show on the Comedy Channel) get similar percentages (Regularly 5%; sometimes 10/11%; hardly ever 83/84%) and they are just slighly ahead of print and online magazines. Amazingly, the major polit-blogs Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo and Instapundit follow closely: use regularly 2%; sometimes 3%, which mans that 5 percent of Americans used blog sites for political information during the last election. This documents the incredible rise of the polit blogs, which basically did not exist a few years ago.

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