Where Do People Get Their News - Featured Image
By Milos Djordjevic | April 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Where Do People Get Their News? [And 11 Other Questions]

We’re all familiar with different news sources like TV, radio, online and print media. But why do different people like to get their news from different sources? Preference for a certain type of news source mainly seems to be because of a source’s reputation, age, and political party affiliations.

Where Do Americans Get Their News?

Americans enjoy keeping up with current affairs and are very particular about where they source for news. There are plenty of news sources available, but the two main categories that they fall into are traditional and modern.

Let’s look at each category closely:

Traditional sources comprise newspapers, TV, and radio, while modern sources are social media, websites, and apps. The internet, as a news source, is quickly catching up with television. 

1. How Many People Get Their News From Social Media?

(Pew Research Center)

The use of social media as a news source has been on the rise for the last few years. As of 2018, one in every four Americans got their news from social media.

Looking at 2017 data, the number of those going to social media for their news was the same as the number of those reading newspapers. However, by 2018, social media news readers had surpassed newspaper readers. 

2. Which of the Following News Sources Reaches the Most Americans?

(Pew Research Center)

Let’s look at the news consumption statistics from primary news sources across the US.

2019 data shows that the number of people using television and online sources is almost similar: 41% and 37%, respectively. 

Breaking down the online consumption, 23% of the survey participants preferred apps and news websites, while 15% preferred social media. 

What’s more:

13% of Americans got their news from newspapers in 2019, while 15% went to social media for their news. Overall, TV was still the number one news source for most Americans. 

3. Where Do Millennials Get Their News?

(Knight Foundation)

If you thought Millennials don’t pay attention to the news, then you’re wrong.

Here’s why:

The modern news consumer is the Millennial, aka Generation Y. Research shows that 88% of this demographic category catches up with the news at least once a week. 

Technology seems to be the main driving force when it comes to how Millennials like to get their news. This demographic mostly gets its news from digital sources, such as news websites, smartphone alerts, and social media. 

4. Where Do Most People Get Their News?

(Pew Research Center)

The rise of the internet as a news source has made it possible for 68% of US adults to use social media to get news occasionally. 

57% of people who get their news from the platforms expect it to be inaccurate and rightfully so. The reason people might mistrust online news sources could be because anyone can upload or share the news.

It’s not all bad, though:

In a 2018 survey, 36% of Americans said they found social media to be helpful rather than confusing as a news source.

Where Do People Get Their News - Watching TV

5. Where Do Most Americans Get Their News?

(Pew Research Center)

The most common way that Americans get their news is from television. As of 2018, 41% of people in the US watched their news on TV, but social media was trailing behind closely at 37%.

6. How Do People Get Their News?

(Pew Research Center) 

Although the internet is slowly rising as a news source, traditional news sources are still a go-to for many people. The leading conventional news source, according to a 2018 survey, was TV at 41%. Print media still had readers, with 13%, and finally, comes radio at 8%.  

7. Where Do You Get Your News?


There is a growing concern with most Americans regarding fake news, and most wonder if the news they read or watch is genuine and honest. For credible news sources, it’s vital to establish whether they follow the code of ethics from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Top 3 Unbiased News Sources for 2020 are:

  • The Washington Post
  • The New York Times
  • NBC News

8. How Many People Get Their News from Facebook?

(Pew Research Center)

When it comes to social media use for news statistics, Facebook is the undisputed leader. 69% of Americans, which equates to seven out of every ten people, get their news from the social media giant. 

9. What Percentage of Adults Read the News Online?

(Pew Research Center)

Americans are most likely to get their news from online sources at 37%, a figure that is quickly catching up with 41% of TV viewers. 89% of Americans get news from digital sources now and then, while 41% visit online sources often. 

10. Where Do Republicans Get Their News?

(Pew Research Center)

News consumption statistics 2020 shows that political parties are a significant determiner of how people consume news. 60% of Republicans prefer Fox News as their number one news source. 

In contrast, only 23% of Democrats get their news from Fox News, with 53% favoring CNN. Just 24% of Republicans watch the news on CNN. 

11. What Percentage of Americans Watch Their News?

(Pew Research Center)

For popular news sources, most Americans prefer watching rather than reading. In 2018, 47% of news consumers preferred to watch their news, compared to 46% in 2016. Just 34% of people preferred reading the news as of 2018.

According to a 2018 survey, those who preferred to watch news watched it on television.  

12. What Is America’s Main Media Source?

(Pew Research Center) 

A look at the main news sources for Americans shows that TV is in the lead. As of 2018, 44% of Americans preferred to watch the news on TV.

Additionally, 34% of consumers preferred to get news from the internet, while just 14% listened to the news on the radio. At the time, only 7% were reading their news from print media.

Final Thoughts

News consumption across the American landscape has changed completely from what it was decades ago. More people are moving toward the internet to get their news.

Looking at all the various news sources, TV is still king when it comes to news provision. Most US citizens seem to be losing interest in traditional media like radio and print.