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Survey: TV Is Top News Source, But Audience Is Aging

Television continues to be the top source for
daily news, according to a new Pew Research Center report on news
consumption. That follows another Pew study released Wednesday (Sept. 26) that
found that local TV stations were the top source of community info.

In both studies, though, there were clear signs of the aging of that TV
news audience and a move to online sources, a point Pew made right up front,
entitling the study: "In Changing News Landscape, Even Television is Vulnerable."

the first time, the percentage of those who say they regularly watch local TV
news dipped below 50% -- to 48% -- although that is still within the survey's
margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

according to the news consumption survey released Thursday, while the regularly
watched figure had dipped, 55% of Americans said they watched a TV news program
the previous day, about on part with recent surveys, though down from the 68%
who gave that answer two decades ago.

when you ask someone in the 18-29 demo the same question, only about a third
(34%) said they had watched TV news the day before, down dramatically from a
2006 survey, when that figure was almost half (49%).

trend is particularly evident in local TV and cable news programming, Pew said.
For local TV news, only 28% of those under 30 said they had watched a newscast
the previous day, compared to 42% in 2006. That figure has been steadily
declining--36% in 2008 and 31% in 2012.

news had even fewer younger viewers. Only 23% said they had watched, though
that was only down from 29% in 2006. Meanwhile, the number of people 65-plus
that watched cable news has grown from 38% in 2006 to 51% in 2012.

was singled out for steady declines since 2008. According to the latest survey,
16% said they regularly watched CNN, down from 24% only four years ago. Fox is
at 21%, down from 23% over the same period; while MSNBC is at 11%, down from

is clear that online news outlets are getting some of the younger eyeballs.
According to the survey, 41% of people 18-24 say they got news online the day
before, while only 29% of the demo said it had watched TV news. But the spread
was much narrower for the 25-29 breakout, with 41% saying they had watched TV

even though there is increasing online news viewing, TV news viewers spend more
time with their news shows. On average, TV news viewers spent 52 minutes a day
watching TV news, while online news viewers spent an average 40 minutes.

is also clear that folks are generally combining traditional and new media to
feed satisfy their news appetites. Combining the 33% who said they use
traditional media only with the 38% who says they get their news from both, 71%
are still using traditional media. Only 12% said they had foregone TV, radio
and newspapers for digital platforms.

those number change markedly for the youngest viewers. Among 18-24's, only 11%
says they are traditional-only, while 28% say they are digital only and 32% say
both. But many young people are opting for "none of the above," too.
Between a quarter and a third of people under 25 say they got no news from any
source the previous day, though that was actually an improvement from the 33%
who went news-less in 2010.

survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, was
based on phone interviews May 9-June of a national sample of 3,003 adults,