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Web News Reading Trumps Print in U.S., Finds Pew Poll

News Consumption is Increasinly Mobile, Interactive, and Personalized

A new poll from the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that Internet news sources continue to command more U.S. readers than both local and national newspapers. The Web overtook newspapers in 2008, and has only lengthened its lead, with 61-percent of adults saying they get at least some news online.

More important than the Web's growing popularity as a news source, though, is how users are interacting with it. People are becoming more active participants in the news cycle, with 37-percent saying they have created, commented on, or shared links pertaining to news content. Consumption is also mobilizing and becoming more personal; 33-percent of cell phone owners use their handsets to consume news, and 28-percent of surfers create customized homepages. The Internet has also increased the number of news sources that the average user reads; only 21-percent rely on a single outlet.

Oddly enough, the death of print, along with the rise of streaming media and podcasts, has led to a renaissance of radio news. In the same 2008 study that reported the Web's triumph over print, only 11-percent of respondents reported listening to news radio. Since, that number has grown to 54-percent, eclipsing both local and national newspapers.

The writing is on the wall for traditional print media. News consumers are looking for a rich, mobile and customizable experience that ink and paper broadsheets simply can't provide. This study only punctuates the point that newspapers and magazines will have to adapt -- and quickly -- if they expect to survive in the 21st century. [From: Pew Internet and American Life Project, via: Ars Technica]

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