Trends, Perceptions and demographics



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Last updated April, 2002

Online Readers Accept Online News as Another Option Among Credible News Sources | The Journalistic Divide | Younger People Are More Comfortable With Online News |

Online Readers Accept Online News as Another Option Among Credible News Sources

YoungerAmericans are more likely to turn to the internet for news ecent studies on media trends suggests that key segments of the nation's news audience, particularly younger and better-educated Americans, and those seeking financial information, are turning increasingly to the Internet.

The Online News Association’s Digital Journalism Credibility study found that readers accept the news online as being as credible as the news the get from other more traditional sources. In fact, some online news sites, such as, received higher ratings than their parent companies when readers were asked to rank the believability of newspapers, radio, cable, network and online news in the Pew Research Center study.

Online readers do not identify the credibility of news online as an issue. Most of the participants in the ONA study neither agreed nor disagreed with the question, they simply remained neutral.

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The Journalistic Divide

In a not too surprising contrast, a majority of media workers – across all media types – identified the credibility of news on the Internet as a major issue and expressed concern about the standards and practices of new media reporters.

Is there something media workers know that the public doesn’t? Informal surveys conducted by the ONA found two very divergent facts. A majority of media workers outside new media believes that online journalists do not live up to the same journalistic standards that broadcast and particularly print journalists do. However, the vast majority of online media journalist interview at 16 online television stations and 56 online newspapers have traditional journalistic training and experience.

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Younger People Are More Comfortable With Online News

70 percent of those aged 65 or higher live in households that do not use the Internet A nationwide telephone poll of 1, 014 households conducted by the Round Table Group found that:

  • 67 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 live in households that use the Internet to gather key information
  • Among those young adult Internet users, 59 percent say that their household currently receives more "useful information" from the Internet than from the newspapers.
  • Of those aged 65 and higher, 70 percent live in households that do not use the Internet.

The ONA study found that younger participants in the survey, both among the public and media workers, were more likely to say online news is credible and were less likely to express concern about the separation of advertisement and news than their older counterparts.

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Pew Research Center

Online News Association

Round Table Group:Youth have replaced old media with web