Web Named Favorite News Outlet

The Internet has left behind its image as an unreliable news source, to judge by the results of a Zogby Interactive poll released this week.

One question in the survey (conducted at the end of May and beginning of June) asked respondents to say which medium they’d choose as their source of news if they could have just one. An outright majority (56 percent) picked the Internet, with TV a distant runner-up (21 percent). Newspapers and radio were farther behind, each with 10 percent of the tally. (One caveat: The poll itself was conducted online, which inevitably means the respondents are quite comfortable with the Internet.)

It’s not just that the poll’s respondents view the Internet as an especially convenient source of news. They also regard it as particularly trustworthy. Thirty-eight percent chose it as the information source that’s “most reliable,” putting it well ahead of TV (17 percent), newspapers (16 percent) and radio (13 percent).

Though the Internet has clearly been helping to push print media toward the grave, the poll finds consumers are open to the newspaper industry’s efforts to establish itself online: 49 percent of respondents said national newspapers’ Web sites are very important to them as a source of news, and 41 percent said the same about their local newspaper’s site. Forty-three percent said that’s true of TV networks’ Web sites. Fewer said the same about local TV stations’ sites (34 percent).

Looking ahead, 82 percent of respondents said they expect the Internet to be the dominant news source five years from now. Thirteen percent predicted TV will hold that status.

Nielsen Business Media