Almost 70% Believe Traditional Media Out of Touch With Their News Needs

The news just keeps getting worse for old-fashioned media outlets that disseminate news: more and more people are turning away from them and relying instead on the Internet for information.

Such was the conclusion of a new We Media/Zogby Interactive poll released Wednesday.

As reported by Reuters (emphasis added throughout):

Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch, and nearly half are turning to the Internet to get their news, according to a new survey.

While most people think journalism is important to the quality of life, 64 percent are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities, a We Media/Zogby Interactive online poll showed.

Fascinating, yes? But there's more:

Nearly half of the 1,979 people who responded to the survey said their primary source of news and information is the Internet, up from 40 percent just a year ago. Less than one third use television to get their news, while 11 percent turn to radio and 10 percent to newspapers.

More than half of those who grew up with the Internet, those 18 to 29, get most of their news and information online, compared to 35 percent of people 65 and older. Older adults are the only group that favors a primary news source other than the Internet, with 38 percent selecting television.

Some other interesting findings of the poll not reported by Reuters:

Web sites are regarded as a more important source of news and information than traditional media outlets - 86% of Americans said Web sites were an important source of news, with more than half (56%) who view these sites as very important. Most also view television (77%), radio (74%), and newspapers (70%) as important sources of news, although fewer than say the same about blogs (38%).

The poll also found that Republicans are more skeptical about traditional media sources than Democrats:

Republicans (79%) and political independents (75%) are most likely to feel disenchanted with conventional journalism, but the online survey found 50% of Democrats also expressed similar concerns. Those who identify themselves as "very conservative" were among the most dissatisfied, with 89% who view traditional journalism as out of touch.

This should come as no great surprise. After all, as traditional media sources are regularly parroting Democrat talking points as they bash all things Republican, it goes without saying that those on the left would be more trusting of what's being reported.

Yet, there's a side of this that Reuters ignored: this was an online poll. Should it be at all shocking that folks taking an interactive online poll are more trusting of Internet news sources?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.