Monday, January 21, 2008



A new study for the Pew Research Center shows that the Internet is having a bigger role in the electoral campaign than ever before. That should come as a surprise to far fewer people than it did to the role of the Internet on retail business or how troglodyte corporate executives in the music industry reacted when faced with impending doom.
The Internet is living up to its potential as a major source for news about the presidential campaign. Nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) say they regularly learn something about the campaign from the Internet, almost double the percentage from a comparable point in the 2004 campaign (13%).

Moreover, the Internet has now become a leading source of campaign news for young people and the role of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook is a notable part of the story. Fully 42% of those ages 18 to 29 say they regularly learn about the campaign from the Internet, the highest percentage for any news source. In January 2004, just 20% of young people said they routinely got campaign news from the Internet.

So the number of people getting election news online has more than doubled since Bush first stole his way into the White House-- from 9% in 2000 to 24% today. There's been virtually no growth in the Cable news shows and negative growth for local TV, network TV and daily newspapers. Writing on the wall? The has surged into second place as the primary source of campaign news-- after TV's shrinking position-- and more than daily newspaper's shrinking position.
However, even as the variety of campaign web information resources has expanded, there are indications that most Internet users do not go online for the sole purpose of learning about the campaign. Rather, a majority of web users (52%) say they "come across" campaign news and information when they are going online to do something else. This practice is particularly prevalent among younger web users: 59% of web users under age 30 come across campaign news online compared with 43% of those ages 50 and older.

...When asked where they get their campaign information online, three websites dominate the Internet news landscape: MSNBC, CNN and Yahoo News. Each is cited by roughly a quarter of those who get campaign news online at least sometimes, and collectively, 54% cite at least one of these three websites.

Other widely used websites include Google News (named by 9% of those who get campaign news online), Fox News (9%), AOL News (7%) and the New York Times website (6%). Other commercial websites mentioned by at least 1% are the Drudge Report (3%), BBC (2%) and the USA Today and Washington Post websites (1% each). MySpace is mentioned as a source of campaign information by 3% of those who get news online, and 2% name YouTube.

While the volume of users who get campaign news from MSNBC, CNN and Yahoo is noteworthy, there is also a remarkably "long tail" when it comes to online sources of campaign news. While only 13 individual websites were named by 1% or more of the people who get campaign news online, hundreds of individual websites were named by fewer than 1%.

All in all, more than a quarter (29%) of those who get news online name one of these smaller websites as a source of campaign information, meaning that for every person getting campaign news from a site like MSNBC or CNN, there is a person getting campaign news from a website that targets a far smaller audience (though they may often be the same individual.) Many of these "long tail" websites represent the web presences of local newspapers, TV stations and radio stations. But the vast majority are Internet news websites-- politically oriented or otherwise-- that people count as sources of news and information.

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At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not for the bail-out!! Don't
help these people get us more in

Roseleen F. Madden
2050 W. Dunlap Avenue #N263
Phoenix, Az. 85021


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