Social media sites have surpassed print newspapers as a news source for Americans: One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%) for the first time. We also asked respondents if they got news from a streaming device on their TV and 9% of U.S. adults said that they do so often.
Overall, television is still the most popular platform for news consumption – even though its use has declined since 2016. News websites are the next most common source, followed by radio, and finally social media sites and print newspapers.
Among the three different types of TV news asked about, local TV is the most popular – 37% get news there often, compared with 30% who get cable TV news often and 25% who often watch national evening network news shows.
Age gaps that have long been notable have now widened substantially, with those 65 and older five times as likely as 18- to 29-year-olds to often get news from TV.
For these youngest adults, social media is the most popular news platform – 36% get news there often, topping news websites, TV (16%), radio (13%) and print (2%) – see chart below.
Younger Americans are also unique in that they don’t rely on one platform in the way that the majority of their elders rely on TV. No more than half of those ages 18 to 29 and 30 to 49 get news often from any one news platform.
Source: Shearer, E. (2018, December 10). Social Media Outpaces Print Newspapers in the U.S. As a News Source. Pew Research Center.
Editor’s Note: The title is true – but the variations by age cohorts is the real story.