A LexisNexis survey comparing traditional media to the Web and citizen journalism places user-generated content toward the bottom of the pecking order — at least when it comes to major news events that could affect people’s lives. For more laid back content, such as entertainment news, the Web does better.
The study finds half of consumers turn to network television for breaking urgent news, 42 percent rely on radio, about a third look to local newspapers or cable news outlets, and a quarter use the Internet sites of print and broadcast media. Blogs, Internet user groups and chat rooms are a source of immediate news for only 6 percent of consumers.
As might be expected, the Web ranks higher for entertainment news. Internet sources, and in particular blogs, user groups and chat rooms, exceed radio and magazines as preferred places to go for such content. “Traditional lifestyle media” were named as the most trusted sources of entertainment content.
Asked which sources of news they expect to rely on in the future, 52 percent said they will “primarily” or “mostly” trust traditional news sources over emerging sources, and 35 percent said they expect to confer “equal trust” on both types of news outlets. Thirteen percent said they expect to place greater trust in emerging sources.
“It speaks to the point that consumers don’t view the channels the way marketers and media partners use channels,” said Jim Nail, chief strategy and marketing officer at Cymfony, which provides traditional and consumer generated media measurement services. “I thought it was fascinating that blogs and online sources were number two for entertainment. That says a good and reliable source for entertainment news is people like me, and I think if you’d gone back a few years they’d say the traditional media guy.”
LexisNexis surveyed over 1,500 people aged 25 to 64 for the purposes of the study. Respondents, who were divided into “business professional” and “consumer” groups, were asked which news sources they trust to provide information about news that matters most to them.