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The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released its annual State of News Media report last Monday, focusing on social media’s growing role as a tool for delivering news. Still, the report showed that respondents’ use of social media as a means to access news is not as common as visits to a publication’s website, or even searches of the web—not yet, anyway.

While people are turning to their smartphones or tablets to consume the world’s goings-on, there are still a large number of people who depend on their laptops or desktops to do this. These individuals may welcome the more novel ways to receive the news, but that doesn’t mean they’ll forget about the old ways altogether. As the report said, “[T]heir news experience widens and deepens.”



An article that appeared on Poynter earlier this week reported that according to the survey, 70 percent of Americans still turn to their laptops and desktops for news coverage, and 23 percent get news on at least two kinds of devices—with smartphones and tablets becoming a more popular way to read. It also noted that only nine percent of Americans get news from social media.

In regards to Facebook and Twitter, the former was shown to be a greater source for news than the latter, with seven percent of people getting news from Facebook “very often.” The study found that Facebook users follow links posted by family and friends, whereas Twitter users are getting these links from other sources like journalists and publications.

The bottom line is that the way people consume news do is constantly changing. For news publications, this means targeting all areas by producing more practical websites, constructing smartphone apps, and getting involved in social media. Stated more simply: get creative.

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About the author

Natalie Guadagnoli was the Production Editor of the Summer 2012 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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