Survey shows the internet is most popular outlet for news consumption

A survey of University of Oregon students reports that news organizations must keep an online presence in order to reach college students

By Mackenzie Henshaw

EUGENE, Ore—A recent survey conducted at the University of Oregon shows that students consume their news almost exclusively from the internet.

Last week, University of Oregon journalism students conducted a survey of non-journalism juniors and seniors about their daily news and media consumption. The survey covered questions related to social media, media bias and general media usage.

The survey revealed that internet accessible news, with constant updates and easy accessibility, was the medium that appealed most to college students. Of the 10 University of Oregon students surveyed, all responded that they read the news from the internet, either on their computer or mobile phone. Sixty percent said they spend four or more hours on the internet each day.

Because of this ever-changing news demographic, several news organizations and publications have tailored their news platforms to this online, social media audience. According to stateofthemedia.org, “the rapid growth of mobile is a key factor driving the move to digital news.” This change enables mobile news consumers to “get news whenever they want and wherever they might be.”

This is important for many students with busy schedules as they move from class to class throughout the day without much time to stop and read the newspaper

“I used to read the paper a lot in high school,” said Brian Wells, a senior physics and math major. “But I don’t have enough time for it now.”

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Students can access news sites from Twitter on their mobile phones. Photo by Mackenzie Henshaw

Wells may not have the time to sit down and read a newspaper in print form, but because of the shift towards online content, he can receive tweets from his favorite news sites, @nytimes or @WSJ, on his mobile phone throughout his busy day. News organizations often use sites like Twitter to promote news content through links to their online stories.

Fifty percent of the respondents said they are likely or somewhat likely to follow a link that is posted on these social media sites. “I’m pretty likely to follow links if they look interesting,” said junior political science major Ally Weinhold.

Brandon Yeh, a political science and Chinese major, has similar opinions. He is most likely to follow a link if it “catches the eye.”

Students read a variety of news sources from those links, including CNN, ABC, CBS and Yahoo! News.

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