Internet Gaining On Television

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And newsprint is in the show position, with the Internet placing behind Television’s show position in this horse race.

One thing traditional journalists who believe that the internet is still just a passing phase do not get is there is no longer a definition for “traditional.”

And we are reminded during our post-Christmas celebrations while we are busily trying to prepare for 2009 that, as I write about so often, that change is here.

The Pew Research Center for the Public and the Press has been tracking media usage since the turn of the century, and for the first time ever, the Internet has surpassed newspapers as the main source of national and international news for people overall, but the big story, in my opinion, is what’s happening with young people.

According to Pew, as many people aged 18-29 cite the Internet as their main source of news as they do television. This is the canary in the coal mine for broadcasters, who, like newspapers, have been struggling with an aging mass audience for years.

Terry Heaton has been following these trends for years and it’s something to keep in mind regarding his perspective on local news. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around new technology, but one thing I do know is that good journalism is on the Internet.

And a new generation knows it too. It’s their norm just as my generation’s norm was television. An example might be that my mother didn’t have a television until 1959. And she used to kid that her grandparents said it would never last.

Some of us in rural media are lucky that we are the only game in town but I have even found recently that the local conversation going on is taking place on Facebook and other social media outlets. As fast as things are moving, it’s just a matter of time, as Heaton says, that local online outlets will be the norm before we know it.

And already are.

H/T Silence


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