One of the main findings is that, like everything else in internet-enabled nations, news is now social. Pew’s research found that Americans are increasingly active participants in online news creation and dissemination, as well as keen consumers of mobile news content. For example:
- 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
- more than 8 in 10 online news consumers get or share links in emails.
- a third of cellphone users access news on their phones.
Pew’s analysis of this situation is that:
People’s experience of news, especially on the internet, is becoming a shared social experience as people swap links in emails, post news stories on their social networking site feeds, highlight news stories in their Tweets, and haggle over the meaning of events in discussion threads.
Locked down, pay-walled content is more or less shut out of this conversation — after all, how many ‘subscription required’ links have you forwarded to your mates or colleagues lately or posted to Facebook? Worse still, the research further reveals that only 17% of Americans read news in a national newspaper on a typical day. So, as physical newspaper reading wanes, many newspaper companies are actively shutting themselves out of the online ecosystem by pursuing a pay-per-view or subscription model. Smart.