New Pew Newspaper Report Out

There’s a new report on online newspapers and newspaper readership from Pew — not the Internet and American Life Project, but the Center for the People and the Press. The report compares different news media and the Internet and offers detailed demograhpic analysis.

Among the many conclusions is that online newspapers have helped stablize the overall readership decline for local newspapers. But as stand-alone entities online newspapers have relatively modest followings.

The report is very long, but entirely online here. Here are some interesting findings:

  • The latest Pew news consumption survey finds that newspapers, which also have seen their audience decline significantly, are now stemming further losses with the help of their online editions. However, the discrete online-only newspaper audience is quite modest in size.
  • The long-term decline in newspaper readership has stabilized over the past few years. Since 2002 there has been no significant change in the percent reading a newspaper yesterday. To some extent, this [readership] stabilization reflects the growing availability of newspapers online. But the reach of newspaper websites is still limited. By far, most newspaper readers are still reading the print version ­ on a typical day fully 94% read it in print, while 14% read it on the internet (some do both).
  • Younger Americans are not adopting the habit of reading the newspaper in print. Just 22% of those under age 30 report reading the newspaper in print on the previous day, down from 29% a decade ago. Newspaper websites make up for much of this loss. In fact, the very youngest adults surveyed ­ those ages 18 to 24 ­ were slightly more likely to have read a newspaper this year than a decade ago, due in large part to their increasing use of online newspapers.
  • Four-in-ten (39%) report following links to specific newspaper articles from other websites or search engines, most of which bypass the paper’s homepage and go directly to the story of interest. Fewer (12%) report reading the newspaper yesterday based on e-mailed links from friends or associates.
  • People who do not regularly read the paper mostly see it as time-consuming, as compared with TV, radio and the internet. In addition, newspapers are seen as inconvenient by many either relative to the ease of watching TV, surfing the web, or listening to the radio, or in terms of the hassles of subscribing and having newspapers piling up around the house.
  • The emphasis on [the Internet’s] convenience, navigation and ease of use is particularly evident among younger web news consumers. Nearly three-quarters of younger people getting news online describe its advantages in terms of being more accessible and convenient, or the appeal of being able to search, browse and get to news more easily.
  • An increasing number of internet users say they employ search engines like Google and Yahoo to get news on subjects of personal interest. Nearly three-quarters of all internet users (74%) say they have used a search engine for this purpose, and 40% say they have done this in the past week. Both numbers have risen sharply since 2004 (63% and 30%, respectively).
  • Among cell phone users, 6% say they receive news headlines or read news reports on their cell phones, and about half of those do so at least a few times a week. Nearly one-in-five people with a PDA (18%) receive news on these devices. And among those with an iPod or other portable music player, 8% say they listen to news podcasts, including 5% who do so at least a few times a week.

There’s a great deal here and if I have time I’ll blog some more about it. Again, if you want to take a look yourself, go here.

One Response to “New Pew Newspaper Report Out”

  1. New Lesson in Breaking a Story at David Newberger Blogs Says:

    […] It’s about 11 PM here and I was just reading TechMeme like I do in the evening. As I scroll down the page my eye catches a story “Online Papers Modestly Boost Newspaper Readership“. So I get a little excited because I was thinking I might of made it on to TechMeme. I looked at the posts and I see there are a total of 5 sites mentioned. People and Press, Buzz Machine, Teaching Online Journalism, Screenwerk, and Mathew Ingrams site. My hopes are now dashed and I wonder what give. […]

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