There was a flurry of media industry press this week over a Zogby poll that showed that 67 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism. Yeah, yeah, yeah, old news—as a great editor said to me 30 years ago, "They hate us."
But the Zogby poll had something much more newsworthy in it that was largely overlooked: A finding that 48 percent of Americans view the Internet as their primary source of news and information.
Let me let that sink in: 48 percent. Almost half. Internet. Primary source. News and information.
The number is up from 40 percent just a year ago, and it dwarfs the other, more traditional contenders: TV is seen as the primary source by 29 percent of the respondents, radio by 11 percent (driving around in their cars, no doubt), and newspapers by, gulp, 10 percent.
That's right, just 10 percent of Americans now list newspapers as a primary news source. (Natch, it's worse among young consumers, with 55 percent of those 18 to 29 viewing the Internet as their primary news and information source and just 7 percent citing newspapers.)
So can we all agree now that Internet news is, indeed, the future? More important, newspaper companies, do you think you can finally start really taking it seriously and doing something about it?