Online News Sources Seen As Reliable As Local Papers
Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans say they go online and use the Internet every day or nearly every day, and most of those adults now find online reporting comparable to that in their local newspaper.
Seventy-four percent (74%) of these daily Internet users say that reporting from web sources is at least somewhat reliable while 69% say the same about local newspaper reporting.
Among all adults, 65% consider reporting from Internet news sources to be at least somewhat reliable. Seventy percent (70%) say the same about reporting from local newspapers.
Republicans give nearly equal weight to reporting in local newspapers and online, while Democrats lean more heavily toward newspapers. Unaffiliated Americans put slightly more trust in Internet news sources. This is most likely due to the long-held belief by many that traditional media sources carried a liberal bias. During Election 2008, most voters believed reporters were trying to help the Obama campaign.
These findings take on greater significance because only 30% of Americans now say they read a print version of their local newspaper every day or nearly every day. Under the age of 40, only half as many (15%) say the same.
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In October 2007, a majority of voters said the Internet has had a positive impact on journalism.
Internet usage is highest among Americans ages 30 to 49 and dramatically lower among those over 65.
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