Online news has become more popular than reading newspapers in America, according to a new study.
Only TV news broadcasts are more popular than online news sites among news ‘grazers’ now, the acclaimed Pew Research Center has claimed.
“News awareness is becoming an anytime, anywhere, any device activity for those who want to stay informed,” it said.
It has been coming for some time though hasn’t it?
And not just in the USA, where online news is officially now more popular than news in the traditional printed media.
The writing is not just on the wall for traditional newspapers these days, it is also on the internet – or it should be if it wants to get the biggest possible audience.
Newspapers in both the US and the UK have been going through a few years of well-documented financial difficulties, leading many to close, others to be sold off and many to examine charging for their news online.
In th American poll 61% said they got their news online on a typical day, compared with 78% from local news channels and 71% from a national TV network such as NBC or cable channels such as CNN or Fox News.
Fifty-four per cent said they listened to radio news programmes at home or in the car.
More than nine out of 10 people in America use more than one method to get news, and 57% consult between two and five websites as part of their news gathering, the survey found.
Is it any surprise with so many different, easily accessible and, for the moment, free of charge news websites out there that traditional print media is crumbling?
The big question for us is how long will it take for the UK to follow suit?
If our record of following the American lead on pretty much everything else is any measure we should be looking at online news ‘outnewsing’ print media by the end of this year or early in 2011.
And while 2012 might not bring us the Mayan prophecy of doom and apocalypse it could well spell the end of days in the UK for newspapers as we know them.
The routine of Sunday papers and coffee at the breakfast table aside, with the coming of the iPad, a host of other fun-sized PC Tablets and the depleted public ‘trust’ in the stability of established print media, it is now very much a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’ any more.
By Adam Moss, Brazen News Editor