Paper Pages Give Way to Web Pages

Students Say the Internet is the New News Medium
Sailor reads news about Osama Bin Laden's death.
Photo: Official U.S. Navy Imagery (Flickr)

By Rick Lindfors – J 361 Staff Writer
EUGENE, Ore — A survey of University of Oregon students conducted last week shows that online media is the preferred source of news for young people.

College students gather their news from their computers and cellular devices as opposed to newspaper articles and television news programs. The survey shows a correlation between the Internet connectivity of college students and how they receive their news updates. Fifty percent of those surveyed spend more than four hours a day online, with ninety percent of students gathering news from their computers. Forty percent of students say they use cell phones to access the Internet for updates. Twenty percent of students read the newspaper for their information. It is possible that the fast paced and busy lifestyle of college students requires them to have a news medium that travels with them. “I used to read the paper a lot in high school, but I don’t have enough time for it now,” said senior physics and math student Brian Wells.

Although students don’t read newspapers in their print form, they still follow papers online. Students still read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, but are more likely to read them in their online format. Students also view television stories online, with thirty percent of surveyed students marking down CNN as a source of news. A diverse list of online news sources also provides students with information. Students read news sites such as Google News, MSN and Yahoo! News.

Social media is also making a mark on how students gather the news. Ninety percent of college students use Facebook with 55% of Facebook users listing themselves as likely to follow news links posted by friends.

While this survey shows that students are certainly seeing the news, it also shows that news outlets will have to keep up with the lives of their readers. College students juggle classes, social lives, work, athletics and other activities. They read the news on devices that fit in their bags or pockets and travel with them during their busy lives.

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