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Trending: How we read the news

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Fewer Americans are getting their news from physical newspapers, as consumers continue to move over to digital platforms to stay informed, the Pew Research Center reported Monday in its Annual Report on American Journalism, “The State of the News Media 2013.”

According to Pew, the percentage of Americans who reported reading any daily newspaper the day before they were surveyed fell the most dramatically among those between the ages of 35 and 44 in the past decade. Back in 2002, 52 percent of Americans in that age bracket reported reading a daily newspaper; by 2012 that figure plummeted by 24 percentage points to 28 percent. But there were dramatic drop-offs in each age range collected.

A graphic from the Pew Research Center shows a steep decline in daily newspaper readership since the late 1990s.

The decline in paper-based readership happens as digital access skyrockets. Pew found that 39 percent of Americans surveyed got their news from a mobile device or online in 2012, up from 34 percent in 2010. The increase makes sense, considering that 31 percent of adults now own a tablet — about three times the rate recorded in 2011 — and 45 percent own a smartphone, according to Pew.

About one in three tablet and smartphone owners get news from their devices daily (37 percent and 36 percent, respectively), while two in three tablet and smartphone owners get news from those devices weekly (64 percent and 62 percent, respectively), Pew reports.

But it’s not a zero-sum game; many users are simply consuming more news than ever before.

Fifty-four percent of tablet users report also getting news on a smartphone, while 77 percent report also getting news on a computer, 50 percent report getting news in print and 25 percent report getting news from all four sources, according to a 2012 study by Pew Research Center and the Economist Group. The same survey found that roughly one in three tablet users say they spend more time with news since owning their tablet.

Pew Center graphic shows that tablet users are consuming more news than before

How do you access news these days? Vote in our poll:

How do you access news?

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Maggie Gordon

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5 Responses

  1. @Shawn – Trending is still a Thursday thing. Smaller Trending items may run in the paper on any day of the week, but the big stories will remain on Thursdays.

  2. ChrisinBpt says:

    The poll does not work for me. There’s no way to vote, it just shows the results and I didn’t vote yet.

  3. Shawn McCarthy says:

    Wait, is there now TWO Trendings a week? I thought trending was a Thursday thing? It is one of the reasons I actually buy the paper, so now I am confused? Please confirm if Trending will be moving to Tuesday or is this just a special edition of the column…thank you.

  4. whatever it is Im against it says:

    The Hearst model of hardcore leftist/socialist propaganda has been a great success – not. Another few years and they will be out of business.

  5. John Roman says:

    Lossof readership at Hearst (CT Post/Greenwich Time/Advocate/News-Times)has proportionately tracked the downsizing of the papers and their loss of LOCAL MARKET appeal. Four dailies from one press has also hurt the Advocate in particular, with the loss of its once vaunted ability to include late sports scores. Failure to cover and report local events/hearings timely has surrendered vital news coverage to upstart, untested but ambitious on line rivals.