News Consumption Depends on Topic, Not Demographics

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been completely enthralled with reading news stories about missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. I can’t get online or browse through my Twitter feed without reading articles about the flight. It’s a modern day mystery that has us all perplexed, and all relatively obsessed with figuring out what’s happened.

According to Mashable, this mysterious disappearance has led to a huge ratings boost for CNN, and a recent study has proved why. According to the study, news consumption has nothing to do with demographics, rather its all about the news topic being covered.

The study was conducted by The Media Insight Project, a joint initiative between the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, and its results were based on a survey completed by 1,492 adults.

According to the survey, people favor 24-hour news platforms like CNN when they want to learn about international news, politics or social issues, but when it comes to “mundane” news stories such as traffic, weather, sports and lifestyle, people tend to turn to the Internet for news coverage.

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IMAGE: © COPYRIGHT 2014. THE MEDIA INSIGHT PROJECT

And while TV news is popular, once people initially hear about breaking news stories, they typically look to the Internet, rather than TV, to learn more about the stories. The Internet has become the next stepping stone to keeping up-to-date on news stories, as it is constantly updated and easy to access whenever you please.

Another discovery from the study is the increased popularity of news alerts on smartphones. According to the survey, almost half of Americans receive the alerts, and people have become increasingly reliant on these alerts, trusting the alerts to keep them current on world news.

I know, personally, that I rely on news alerts and typically get most of my news from the Internet, as my access to TV is relatively limited throughout the day. I also know that I tend to be much more aware of world news when something “big” happens, like this missing Malaysian Flight. This study, therefore, proved I’m not atypical in how I consume the news.

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