Old Media Dead in 10 Years?

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Online Americans like their news the old fashioned way--through network television, newspapers and magazines--but more than half of them think old media's time is limited.

More than two thirds of online Americans (67 percent) told pollsters from 24/7 Wall St./Harris Poll that they prefer to get their news in traditional ways--although half of them admit they get almost all their news online. Moreover, more than half (55 percent) the 2095 online Americans surveyed by the pollsters predicted that traditional media as we know it won't be around in 10 years.

As print media outlets have been painfully aware of for years, the time Americans are spending with dead-tree media continues to go down. A quarter of the people (25 percent) participating in the survey said the time they spent with newspapers declined over the past year and nearly a quarter (23 percent) reported declines in the time they spent reading magazines. Meanwhile, almost three in 10 respondents (28 percent) noted the time they spent visiting news and information sites online increased over the last 12 months.

When online Americans go searching for news, the surveyors found almost half of them (46 percent) go to local TV news all the time, while more than a third (35 percent) go to local newspapers and 31 percent go to network television news. National newspapers and magazines fared less well--more than four out of 10 of online Americans (42 percent) said they never consult national newspapers like the New York Times or weekly news magazines for news.

The pollsters also confirmed, once again, that traditional forms of media are losing their appeal to younger consumers. Only about a third (33 percent) of online Americans 55 or older said they tend to get all their news off the Internet, while 65 percent of the 18-34 year olds get all their news online. And while 81 percent of the 55-plus set prefer to get their news through traditional means, while only 57 percent of 18-34 year olds want their news that way.

"While they might not have abandoned print media or network television completely, Americans are welcoming and embracing other media in leaps and bounds," the pollsters reasoned from their findings.

"And," they continued, "as one might expect, younger Americans are setting the pace as they are getting their news online and not through local newspapers."

"Network television may not be in as much trouble as print, but they also have to watch their backs as cable television is clearly winning eyes," they added.

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