Internet top source of news for American ?

Following a Media/Zogby Interactive poll, we learn that two-third of Americans prefer getting information from Internet than from traditional sources of news like newspapers or TV. This shift is even more dramatic for people under 30 years old.

The following comment gives a good insight of the problem (from zogby’s site) :

« For the second year in a row we have documented a crisis in American journalism that is far more serious than the industry’s business challenges – or maybe a consequence of them, » said Andrew Nachison, co-founder of iFOCOS. « Americans recognize the value of journalism for their communities, and they are unsatisfied with what they see. While the U.S. news industry sheds expenses and frets about its future, Americans are dismayed by its present. Meanwhile, we see clearly the generational shift of digital natives from traditional to online news – so the challenge for traditional news companies is complex. They need to invest in new products and services – and they have. But they’ve also got to invest in quality, influence and impact. They need to invest in journalism that makes a difference in people’s lives. That’s a moral and leadership challenge – and a business opportunity for whoever can meet it. »

What has been commented in my previous posts makes sense in the light of the study reported above. I would personnally underline a few reasons, in my opinion, for this shift to Internet to get news :

– People get used to obtain more and more free material from Internet : music, movies and news are the most visible part of this phenomenon. Who will be willing to pay to be informed in the future ? And what consequences does it have on news departement financing ? Are we responsible, in a way, of the news production lack of financial independence ?

– As Internet allow a real interactivity between journalists and their audience, do « traditional journalists » have to quickly learn how to accept a new interaction with their readers or viewers in order to get their attention … and fulfill their needs for customized information ?

– When Andrew Nachison declares that news companies need to invest in journalism that makes a difference in people’s live, I am a little worried about media quality in the future regarding how they are financed by advertisers and investors. The latters’ interests are certainly not those of news citizen-consumers who need to be informed and not only entertained !

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