Sunday, June 05, 2005

Young web users turn up the heat on MSM

The Sunday Times is carrying a great article today on how mainstream media is increasingly under threat from the online news revolution of late.

This is especially true with younger Internet users. Two interesting quotes:

  • The Carnegie Corporation of New York reports that 44% of Americans aged 18 to 36 access their daily news online but only 19% read newspapers.
  • A forthcoming survey from the Oxford Internet Institute found that 28% of Internet users watch less television.

The article sees a double whammy attack on established media by:

  • The popularity of news aggregation services (a logical consequence of information fragmentation). Traffic to Google News increased 90% over the last year while traffic to the New York Times website fell 23%.
  • The rise of “non-mainstream” news sources (think blogs or independent online news outlets like the memory hole).

The article concludes by noting that while we are entering a potential information minefield online, the man in the street will need to sharpen his critical judgment to weight stories accuracy.

It is an interesting era where the success of self-published news is driven by an increased distrust in established media – i.e. a quest for unbiased news and paradoxically by the increased popularity of opinionated news sources.

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