Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism
is out of touch, and nearly half are turning to the Internet
to get their news, according to a new survey.
While most people think journalism is important to the
quality of life, 64 percent are dissatisfied with the
quality of journalism in their communities, a We Media/Zogby
Interactive online poll showed.
"That's a really encouraging reflection of people who
care A) about journalism and B) understand that it makes
a difference to their lives," said Andrew Nachison, of
iFOCOS, a Virginia-based think tank which organized a
forum in Miami where the findings were presented.
Nearly half of the 1,979 people who responded to the
survey said their primary source of news and information
is the Internet, up from 40 percent just a year ago. Less
than one third use television to get their news, while
11 percent turn to radio and 10 percent to newspapers.
More than half of those who grew up with the Internet,
those 18 to 29, get most of their news and information
online, compared to 35 percent of people 65 and older.
Older adults are the only group that favors a primary
news source other than the Internet, with 38 percent selecting
Howard Finberg, of the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg,
Florida, said the public often doesn't understand that
the sources they are accessing online such as Google News
and Yahoo News pull stories from newspapers, television,
wire services and other media sources.
"It's delivered in a non-traditional form, that doesn't
necessarily mean there isn't traditional journalism underneath
it," he explained.
But Finberg said the study does support the belief among
many large media companies that focusing on local issues
is important to their journalistic and economic survival.
"This study is a small example which demonstrates
how the power of conventional mainstream media will slowly
disappear" says Susan McHilley of PreventDisease.com.
"People are finally realizing that they cannot be
informed about the realities of the world by biased news
sources that currently dominate media. The only way to
get any truth about world issues and your health is to
research unbiased, independent news sources which have
little or no influence from direct advertisers, with no
revenue and financial incentives from outside organizations"
she added. She further explains that "the biggest
problem with mainstream media, is that it is controlled
by half a dozen conglomerates which influence every single
editorial decision made. "
"Unfortunately the internet is not immune to this
influence, but you certainly have more options and the
ability to cross-reference information with a plethora
of other websites to validate or discredit information....it's
all about choice" she concluded.