Nearly three times as many people ages 18 to 29 mention the internet as mention newspapers as a main source of election news (49% vs. 17%). Nearly the opposite is true among those over age 50: some 22% rely on the internet for election news while 39% look to newspapers. Compared with 2004, use of the internet for election news has increased across all age groups. Among the youngest cohort (age 18-29), TV has lost significant ground to the internet.
That’s from a new Pew Center for the People and the Press survey.
The YouTube election appears primarily a youth phenomenon, but the movement in the numbers over the last four years certainly doesn’t bode well for TV and newspapers continuing to be relevant to the coverage of national elections. Except that much of traditional media content, too, is online.
It would be interesting to know how much of the Internet election coverage the 18-29 age group is reading or viewing is from mainstream TV, newspapers and magazines. My bet is the majority of it although there are great election resources on the Web this election season.