News Industry - Statistics & Facts

The times when „Extra! Extra!” was delivered to eager news consumers in a paper form seem to be fading away. An increasing number of the population are turning away from the radio and newspapers and towards the internet to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the world. In 2016, the internet was used by 73 percent of the U.S. population as a source of news, in contrast to 66 percent who used television. The traditional sources of news were lagging well behind, with 26 percent of Americans consulting print media and 23 percent tuning in to the radio for the news.

In 2016, national broadcast TV news reached the highest audience in the United States, with over 46 percent of the population tuning in. In contrast, only 27.1 percent of consumers accessed radio news. Consumers spent an average of 65 minutes weekly watching national broadcast TV news and a further 131 minutes watching local TV news. However, despite fewer consumers listening to news radio, the average weekly time spent listening has, in fact, increased slightly from 275 minutes in 2012 to 281 minutes in 2016. Surveys show that Americans are most interested in news about the country (57 percent of the population), news about their town or city (52 percent), and U.S. politics (47 percent).

However, in light of the fake news scandal which overshadowed the 2016 Presidential Election and the early days of President Trump's tenure, trust in the media both in the United States and worldwide has nosedived. Social media, often the source of fake news, has been hit worst by this scandal. In a recent survey, 22 percent of respondents in the United States stated that they almost never trusted social media as a source of news, in contrast to nine percent who almost never trusted online-only news publications. Among the more traditional news media, 14 percent of respondents trusted print newspapers all of the time and 17 percent trusted broadcast TV news. ABC emerged as the organization with the most credibility as 27 percent of respondents trusted it a lot. In comparison, only seven percent of respondents felt the same way about Breitbart.

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News in the U.S. - Important statistics

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Infographics on the topic

News Industry Infographic - How Do Consumers Get to the News?
Main news source by generationCredibility of U.S. news organizationsWhere Media Freedom Levels Are Lowest

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