Pew Internet and American Life Project and the Project for Excellence in Journalism released “Understanding the Participatory News Consumer,” on Monday and it has received a ton of attention around the key findings. Notably, the majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to get their daily news, and more than half (59%) are getting news from both online and offline sources on a typical day.
The degree to which Americans are personalizing and filtering this content is especially noteworthy, with highlights collected by MediaBistro including:
- 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
- 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.
- 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
- 51% of social networking site users who are also online news consumers say that on a typical day they get news items from people they follow.
- 23% of this cohort follow news organizations or individual journalists on social networking sites.
This fits with the recent Cision report (pdf), which showed how media are using social platforms to publish, promote and distribute what they write (64% use blogs, 60% social networks, and 57% Twitter). Additionally, a full 89% of media are turning to blogs for their online research, making this process truly cyclical.
With 70% of Americans noting that the amount of news and information available from different sources is overwhelming, I think we will see more and more trends pointing to users testing multiple news sources and filtering for perceived noise. From a PR perspective, this points to the importance of brands telling a cohesive story over multiple platforms, providing a range of consumer touch points, and as always, creating content that is truly valuable for media and consumers.