For the first time, more US adults are saying they regularly get news from social media compared to newspapers.
In a study from Pew Research Center, 20 percent of US adults say they often get their news from social media, while 16 percent turn to newspapers.
That means social media is now the fourth most popular source of news.
Television is still the most popular news source by a wide margin, although it has been on a steady decline over the past three years.
Websites are growing as a news source and, surprisingly, radio is growing as well.
As the study notes, when combining news websites and social media, the margin is much smaller.
“And 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).”
Pew included streaming devices on TVs for the first time since conducting this study, with 9 percent of respondents saying they often use those to get news.
The study broke down the results by age groups, revealing that older adults are more likely to get news from TV, while younger adults are more likely to get news online.
Percent of US adults who regularly get news from television:
81 percent of people ages 65+
65 percent of people ages 50-64
36 percent of people ages 30-49
16 percent of peoples ages 18-29
Look how the data is reversed when it comes to social media.
Percent of US adults who regularly get news from social media:
8 percent of people ages 65+
14 percent of people ages 50-64
22 percent of people ages 30-49
36 percent of peoples ages 18-29
Interestingly, websites are most popular with middle-aged adults.
Percent of US adults who regularly get news from websites:
28 percent of people ages 65+
28 percent of people ages 50-64
42 percent of people ages 30-49
27 percent of peoples ages 18-29
What’s also notable about this data is that young and middle-aged adults are less likely to get their news from a single source compared to older demographics.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ’s Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!