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More Americans now get their news from social media than newspapers

A Pew research study has revealed that, for the first time, more Americans get their news from social media than from newspapers …

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 since Pew Research Center began asking these questions. In 2017, the portion who got news via social media was about equal to the portion who got news from print newspapers.

Social media’s small edge over print emerged after years of steady declines in newspaper circulation and modest increases in the portion of Americans who use social media.

Technically, the data shows that the switch happened last year rather than this, but Pew says the difference seen in 2017 was not statistically significant so could not be considered reliable. This year it is.

Unsurprisingly, reports Pew, television is still the most popular source of news, though its use is declining. Indeed, we’re getting close to the point where the web and apps will outstrip TV as the dominant news source.

When looking at online news use combined – the percentage of Americans who get news often from either news websites or social media – the web has closed in on television as a source for news (43% of adults get news often from news websites or social media, compared with 49% for television).

There’s also the age split you’d expect: those aged 18-29 are four times more likely to get news from social media as those ages 65+.

Apple News has been working hard to counter what it calls ‘total crazy land‘ with human curation and stressing accuracy over speed.

Photo: Shutterstock

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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