News Platform Fact Sheet
The transition of news from print, television and radio to digital spaces has caused huge disruptions in the traditional news industry, especially the print news industry. It is also reflected in the ways individual Americans say they are getting their news. Today an overwhelming majority of Americans get news at least sometimes from digital devices. Explore the patterns and trends that shape the platforms Americans turn to for news below.
News consumption across platforms
A large majority of U.S. adults (84%) say they often or sometimes get news from a smartphone, computer or tablet, including 51% who say they do so often. This is lower than the 60% of Americans who said they often got news from digital devices in 2020. The portion who gets news from digital devices continues to outpace those who get news from television. Americans turn to radio and print publications for news far less frequently than to digital devices and television.
When asked which of these platforms they prefer to get news on, half of Americans say they prefer a digital device, more than those who prefer TV, radio or print. This hasn’t changed from 2020.
News across digital platforms
Though digital devices are by far the most common way Americans access their news, where they get that news on their devices is divided among a number of different pathways. Today, news websites, apps and search engines are the digital pathways most Americans get news from at least sometimes.
Among digital devices, the most preferred one for news is news websites or apps: About a quarter of U.S. adults (24%) prefer to get their news this way, compared with 11% who prefer search, 10% who prefer to get their news on social media and 4% who say they prefer podcasts. The share of Americans who prefer to get news from each type of digital platform hasn’t changed from 2020.
Who uses each news platform
News consumption across platforms varies by factors such as age, gender, race, ethnicity and educational attainment. Americans under 50 are more likely to turn to digital devices and prefer them for getting news than are those ages 50 and older. Conversely, Americans 50 and older are more likely to turn to and prefer television.