Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Leaking readers (An ongoing series)

The Online Publishers Association, an unbiased group if ever there were one, recently completed a study that quantifies how newspapers have been marginalized by the Internet, TV and other competing media.

A mere 3.2% of the 1,235 people polled in the survey named newspapers as their No. 1 source for information, By comparison, 45.5% picked the Net, 34.8% chose TV and 7.5% named books. Radio and magazines shared the pocket change.

Curiously, young people put more trust in the newspapers than their elders. Half of of 18- to 24-year-old respondents said they trusted newspapers, but papers got a trust rating of only 45% in the 25-34 group and a measly 35% from the 35-54 crowd. Those older than 55 either don't matter or couldn't be reached for comment.

In all age groups, Internet use is topping the charts -- with a bullet -- as a leading source of entertainment and information. This study may not entertain newspaper companies, but certainly is informative.

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