Study Sheds Light on Internet News Access and Action

Pew Research Center this week released results from a study about how Americans find their way to online news articles and which pathways and subjects are more likely to lead to follow-up action by the consumer. During a weeklong survey of 2,000 U.S. adults last year, interviewers found that direct visits to a news organization’s website or app, as well as steering from social media, were the most likely ways for someone to reach an internet article. However, consumer follow-up action, such as sharing or talking about an article, was most likely when the news piece was arrived at via an email or text from a family member or friend.

Pew’s researchers found that different types of news were more likely accessed through pathways. For example, respondents were more likely to go to business and finance articles by directly accessing a media organization’s site, while community news was more likely to be found through social media.

In an article about the study, Pew also observed that respondents in the 18 to 29-year-old age category were much more likely (47 percent) to have a general tendency of encountering news through social media than those 50 and older (23 percent). However, that younger age group was less likely (47 percent) to remember the source of an article they read than those in the 50-plus category (61 percent).

  • This full Pew Research Center study is available here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: February 10, 2017


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