A new study by Pew, media and press analysts, has revealed that the internet has overtaken newspapers for the first time for Americans when trying to get their daily news fix.
A staggering 40% of the Americans surveyed rely on the web – that is up from 24% when the study was last undertaken in September 2007. Newspapers are now only the first port of call for 35% of the Americans surveyed when looking for national and international news. TV remains the primary source of news with 70% saying that this is what they check first.
You just have to look at circulation vs. unique users of UK papers to see that it is quite likely that a similar scenario is being played out over here.
This if course doesn’t mean that it’s the first place UK news addicts look – the likelihood is that if you are Joe Average, you’ll turn on and watch TV news bulletins or BBC News 24. But unique users don’t account for the other content that you’ll be wanting to look at when you drift onto bbc.co.uk, or timesonline. many of the features online do not appear in print, and much of the comment and analysis remains exclusively in print The blogs of various journalists are of course solely online.
What the Pew study shows is a general trend of people looking for straight up news stories online. It doesn’t take into acount that many people still buy newspapers for their supplements or those wonderful special offers.
Newspapers in the USA will be looking at different ways to get readers to continue having their newspapers delivered every morning – they must provide a different type of content, perhaps more in depth analysis and fewer news stories wil be one option.
What the UK press msut do is see that the trend has finally come to fruition in the states, and make sure that they are ready when it becomes a reality for them.