AP reports: "People are turning increasingly to alternatives such as the Internet for news about the presidential campaign, shifting away from traditional outlets such as the nightly network news and newspapers, a poll found. Young adults were leading the shift, with one-fifth of them considering the Internet a top source of campaign news for them, said the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. About the same number of young adults said they regularly learn about the campaign from comedy shows like 'The Daily Show' and 'Saturday Night Live.' ... Nightly network news was named as a regular source of campaign news by 35 percent, down from 45 percent four years ago, and newspapers by 31 percent, down from 40 percent. ... Four years ago, young people were far more likely to have said they learned about the campaign from nightly network news, 39 percent, than the Internet or comedy programs. Now, all three are cited about equally as sources of campaign news. ... Comedy shows like "The Daily Show"are making fun of what they see as the insufficiency of news programs, especially those on cable," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. He said that highlights the need for more traditional news shows to learn how to appeal to younger adults."
From the report itself: "Where people turn for campaign information makes a big difference in what they know about the campaign. People who use the Internet, those who listen to National Public Radio, and readers of news magazines are the most knowledgeable about the campaign."
"In terms of media audiences, only people who get most of their campaign news from Fox News or from radio see a distinct bias in news coverage of the election, while Americans who get most of their news from CNN, network news, local TV, newspapers and the Internet are split evenly over whether press bias tilts to the Republicans or Democrats. People who get most of their news from network or local news programming are the least likely to see any bias in campaign coverage."
This is fabulous news. I'm really curious to see how the major media outlets will respond to this kind of change in the american public. If the recent past is any indication, though, they won't be able to make the right changes in order to maintain any sort of real market share. And TV news will just continue to get worse and worse.
However, it also raises some serious issues about the "digitial divide" - those of us with access to those alternative, internet based news sources, and those without. Not to mention the desire to seek out alternative opinions. And the education to be able to sort the illogical and fallacious from the real stuff. Interesting times...