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Pew Journalism Project Study: Cable News Proves Most 'Engaging'

Broadcast news continues to draw a crowd,
but cable news captures more of its audience's time.

That was one of the
key takeaways from a new Pew Research Center Journalism Project report based on
exclusive Nielsen data about in-home news viewing supplied to the project.

"You get a
level of engagement and time spent with cable that you just don't see with the
others, said Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the project.

For overall news
viewing at home--for the minimum threshold, defined as watching at least 6
consecutive minutes a month--broadcasting is clearly dominant: 71% watch some
local TV news and 65% watch network TV news, while only 38% watch cable. "But
what is more interesting," says Jurkowitz, "is how much time they
spend daily with each one of those platforms. What becomes extremely clear is
that although not as many people watch [cable news] those that do are much more
engaged in terms of the time they spend on average."

On average, people
watch about 12 minutes a day of TV news, he says, and about 12 minutes a day
watching network TV news, but 25 minutes a day watching cable news.

The heaviest
"users" of local TV news watch about 22 minutes a day--or about a
half hour newscast's worth minus commercials. The heaviest network TV news
watchers--morning and evening newscasts--watch 32 minutes a day, while cable's
heaviest viewers watch 72 minutes a day.

The study is based
on Nielsen data based on Peoplemeter data from approximately 20,00 homes and
50,000 viewers.