Different Strokes for Different Folks

Every morning at our office, we receive three newspapers: The Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.  Many employees read this while they are waiting for the coffee to finish brewing or during lunch.  Several read it first thing in the morning.  Several do not read it at all.  I am one that receives the majority of my news online.  Using Twitter, I follow a variety of local and national news agencies as well as sports teams, the weather, traffic reports, and other online personalities.

Several years ago, it was important to me to have access to television – not because I liked to watch a specific TV series – but because I always wanted the news on in the background.  I even remember getting to campus early during college – where I would spend 10 minutes or so watching the news on the televisions in the business school.  Now, I may turn on the television once a week – if that.

The Internet, in a sense, has replaced the television – for myself as well as many others.  In a recent article on Mashable it was said that the ”Internet is now the main national and international news source for people ages 18 to 29, a study from the Pew Research Center reports.”

Statistics show the following:

  • In 2010, 65% of people younger than 30 cited the Internet as their go-to source for news, nearly doubling from 34% in 2007.
  • Forty-eight percent of those ages 30 to 59 cite the Internet as their main news source
  • The amount of people 65 and older who get their news from the Internet has risen from 5% to 14%

Now, the newspaper certainly has its benefits – it offers more than just breaking news.  In addition, the newspaper offers editorials, op-ed pieces, etc. – all very integral parts of news and communication.  Television gives readers a personality – a face to put to the name.  Each source has its benefits.

It is not too surprising that those younger than 30 choose to gather their news online, however it is extremely surprising that the amount of people 65 and older who get their news from the internet is rising.  And many may not even be using a computer to gather this online news.  The increasing popularity and accessibility of mobile web has enabled consumers throughout the world to have online access via their mobile phone or internet enabled device, but just how popular is mobile?

A recent article in USA today showed some mobile statistics:

  • 93% of all Americans have mobile phones
  • 29.7% of cell phone users have smart phones
  • 90% of the global population has access to mobile networks

With the rise in mobile web, and the creation of devices such as the iPad, it is impossible to imagine this trend making a turn around.  As a business, it is important to ask yourself how you are delivering your content – and if you are where your audience is.

Posted by:  Lorilei Barsh, Business Development Coordinator