Don’t dismiss the ‘boob tube’; TV endures as prime news source

Pew survey shows most Americans tune in for the day’s events.

Now along comes the recent Pew Research Center for the People & the Press biennial poll reminding us to not dismiss a powerful “traditional” medium—and that stodgy old thing is television.

The poll released in September showed a slight increase in TV as a source for news. It remains the main source of news for Americans.

Pew asked respondents where they got their news “yesterday.” They found the number of people who read a daily newspaper (31 percent) or listen to news on radio (34 percent) continues to fall, and the number of people who get news online continues to skyrocket (34 percent). Yet television news still dominated (58 percent). Half of all respondents regularly watch local television news, topping all other sources of news.

The Pew report notes that people spend more time getting news from television on a daily basis. It says people watch 55 minutes of television news per day. The figure for online news “viewing” is 38 minutes. Newspaper reading comes in at 37 minutes.

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