Bad news for TV, good news for print

Brian Solis posted on the Pew Research poll that showed that more and more Americans are getting their national and international news from the internet than from newspapers.  Yeah, yeah, we've all heard that.


But numbers are funny things.  I'm a hoarder of information.  Something about the numbers of the Pew poll rang a bell, so I start rummaging through my college papers and found a Gallup poll from 1972.   Let's compare.

Pew said that 40 percent of respondents in their American poll (a little more than 1400 people) got their news primarily from the Web, as oppose to 24 percent in 2007.  Big jump.  70 percent said they got their news primarily from broadcast as opposed to 74 percent in 2007.  (Let's not quibble that 40 and 70 add up to 110, these are polls after all.)  And that 35 percent got their news from newspapers primarily (yeah, yeah now we're up to 145 percent, focus here) which is actually up 1 percent from 2007.

But my article about Gallup from 1972 said that 74 percent of the respondents said they got their news primarily from broadcast and 30 percent got it from print.  

So if those polls are correct, print has held steady as the primary source of news for a third of the population for more than 30 years, and it is broadcast that is getting beat to a pulp by the web.

But as I said, numbers are funny things, because the most read news website, according to organizations like Digg and delicious, is the New York Times, which I believe is considered a traditional print organization.  Going all the way down the food chain to the b:b publications, one of the most read news websites is EE Times, which is also a print publication.

So what does this tell me?  It tells me that print houses have used the web to take back what they lost to broadcast in the mid 20th century, and that traditional print journalism is the most trusted form of news be it actual print or web publications.

Now how do we get industry to support that with revenue?  That's the real question.