Poll finds that local TV is top news source for most Americans

by Lydia Saad, Gallup News Service

Americans are robust news consumers, but, with the growth of the Internet and 24-hour cable television news over the past decade, traditional media outlets have been struggling to hold their market share. Gallup trends, based on self-reports of media use patterns, confirm that local newspaper readership has dipped in recent years and the once considerable nightly network television news audience has shrunk considerably. However, the latest update, from December 2006, is not all bad news for these outlets. The rapid growth in the Internet news audience may have slowed in the last two years, and cable news viewership has declined. Through it all, local television news has captured a daily audience that includes slightly more than half of Americans, making it the No. 1 source of news in recent years.

In its annual Lifestyle survey, conducted Dec. 11-14, Gallup asked Americans to report the frequency with which they get their news from each of 13 media sources, spanning television, radio, print, and the Internet. In general, local outlets beat national ones; and within these categories, broadcast news beats print. Radio news still attracts a much smaller number of daily listeners than does television or newspapers, and is about on par with daily Internet news readers or viewers.

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article originally published at http://www.galluppoll.com/content/Default.aspx?ci=26053&VERSION=p.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey