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Internet Use and Newsgathering During the Election Season Lee Rainie & John B. Horrigan February 5, 2004 Presentation before the Federal Communications.

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Presentation on theme: "Internet Use and Newsgathering During the Election Season Lee Rainie & John B. Horrigan February 5, 2004 Presentation before the Federal Communications."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internet Use and Newsgathering During the Election Season Lee Rainie & John B. Horrigan February 5, 2004 Presentation before the Federal Communications Commission

2 Presentation Outline Data on Internet Access What weve learned about newsgathering during the political season –2002 mid-term election cycle –2004 thus far Data on how elites gather news –2003 report on patterns of consumption of information goods and services –Blogs – who reads em, who writes em

3 Whos Online & How? 64% of American adults have Net access –88% at home –51% at work –4% at a place exclusively not home or work 79% of teens (12-17) use the Internet 35% of users with access at home connect via broadband 69% of users with access at work connect via broadband 51% of adult Internet users have access to broadband either at home or at work

4 Daily Internet Activities Daily Internet Activities % of Net users who on typical day do the following: Go online – 54% Send – 48% Search engine – 31% Get news – 26% Surf for fun – 21% Answer specific question – 21% Research Product prior to purchase – 19% Look for news about politics – 13% Get financial info – 12% Look for info from a government site – 9% Buy product – 5% Make/purchase travel reservation – 4%

5 Getting Election News in 2002 (How did you get most of your news about the election?) Type of Source Internet Users Non Internet Users Registered Voters Television62%72%66% Newspapers Radio Internet11*6 Magazines211

6 Scope & Nature of Political Online Surfing 22% of Internet users went online in 2002 for news & information about elections Where did they go? –Web sites of major news organizations 45% –News sites of commercial online services 17% –Web sites of local news organizations 11% –Sites that specialize in politics 6% –Candidates Web sites 6% –Web sites of state or local governments 6% –Issue oriented Web sites 3%

7 Scope & Nature of Political Online Surfing (2002) What did they do? –79% look for information on candidates positions –49% find out about endorsements/ratings from organizations –45% get information about candidates voting record –39% register opinions via electronic poll –34% send/get s with political jokes –30% get information about where & when to vote –24% get/send information about get out the vote –22% send an supporting or opposing candidate –10% participate in an online chat about election –6% contribute money via Web site

8 Impact of Internet Importance of Internet in deciding how to vote (among those who sought 02 political information online): –29% of online political surfers say its very important –34% said it helped them decide how to vote –63% say they find the political information they need –33% say they go to sites that agree with their views (52% no) Multivariate analysis indicates that online political surfing encourages voting (controlling for past voting, baseline interest in politics, Internet use, other factors)

9 Internets Role in 2004 Election 22% of Net users have thus far gone online for political information –39% of those who dont expressly seek out political info come across it anyway. Of Net political surfers: –52% have looked for candidate information –29% have looked for campaign organizations or activities in their area –28% have visited site of organizations that promote candidates or positions –13% have gone to online discussions, chats, or blogs

10 Main Source of Campaign News Main Source of Campaign News How have you been getting most of your news about the election (all respondents)? First Medium Mentioned –TV =68% –Newspaper = 15% –Radio = 7% –Internet = 6% –Magazine =1% First or Second Mentioned –TV =78% –Newspaper = 38% –Radio = 15% –Internet = 13% –Magazine =2% 2004 PRC Report

11 How often do you learn about the presidential campaign or candidates from these sources? 2004 PRC ReportRegularlySometimes Local TV News42%35% Cable News3837 National Network News35 Daily Newspaper3130 TV News magazine2544 Morning TV shows2026 Talk Radio1729 Political shows on cable1430 Internet1320 Web sites of major news1117 News pages of ISPs1017 Online magazines26

12 Young People & Campaign News % who regularly learn something from… Cable News37% Local News29 TV News Magazine26 Network News23 Daily Newspaper23 Comedy TV Show21 Internet20 Morning TV Shows18 Talk Radio16 Late Night TV Shows13

13 How the engaged get campaign news Regular source of campaign news Very engaged (7%) Somewhat engaged (23%) Less engaged (70%) Cable TV News64%49%32% Newspaper Network news The Internet37199 Sunday morning talk Local TV News Web site of news orgs33148 Cable talk NPR32209 TV News Magazines29 23 Web sites of ISPs26137

14 Newsgathering by Elites Truly Tech Elite make up 12% of general population* –6% Young Tech Elite –6% Wired Baby Boomers * See Pew Internet Project Report Consumption of Information Goods and Services in the United States

15 News Consumption, Typical Day

16 News Consumption, Typical Day – Tech Elites with Broadband at Home

17 News/Content Creation Type of activityAll Net UsersElite Users Have own Web site 13%29% Read others Blogs 11%29% Have own Blog3%12%

18 Adding it all up Typical American learns most about campaign & other news via traditional media Internets role is growing Internet is an important supplementary source for some population segments How large does the Internet loom in the landscape of how people get political news/information? –Modest, but growing, especially for some segments (young, tech-oriented, politically engaged) –Not necessarily a different voice online users tend to go to Web sites of established offline media –Tipping point at which the Net is principle news source for many Americans is probably some time off


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