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TV is Americans' top news source, with Fox News favored by Republicans

July 08, 2013|By Emily Alpert
  • This July photo shows the co-hosts of Fox News Channel's popular "The Five" -- Kimberly Guilfoyle, Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld and Andrea Tantaros -- following a taping of the show in New York. A Gallup poll said Americans are most likely to turn to their TV news.
This July photo shows the co-hosts of Fox News Channel's popular "The… (Carlo Allegri/Invision/Associated…)

Americans are most likely to turn to their television set for news, Gallup found in a poll released Monday. More than half called it their “main source” of news, compared to a fifth who said they checked the Internet and less than a 10th who opened a newspaper or other print publication.

Television was king for Americans of all ages, the survey of more than 2,000 adults found. But the results also provided a stark reminder of what Gallup called “the balkanization of news” — that Americans with different political leanings turn to different places for information.

Republicans were more likely than independents or Democrats to turn to television. Independents were slightly more likely to head to the Internet, and Democrats were somewhat more apt to turn to print media, such as newspapers or magazines.

“Fox News is a clear driver of Republicans’ higher tendency to turn to television for their news,” Gallup wrote in a news release about the findings. One-fifth of Republicans said the channel was their main source of news. “No other television, print or online news source generates as much loyalty from either Democrats or independents.”

The closest was CNN, touted by 10% of Democrats, 6% of independents and 4% of Republicans polled.

Americans are also divided by generation and schooling when it comes to where they get their news, Gallup found. People ages 65 and older were  most likely to rely on newspapers as their main news source, with 18% saying so, compared to less than a tenth of those ages 64 and younger. People in their 20s, 30s and 40s were most likely to turn first to the Internet, though they were still more likely to opt for television, the poll showed.

Americans with postgraduate education were far more likely to say they went to a print publication as their main source of news (19%), compared to 7% or 8% of all other educational groups. Radio was also more popular among college graduates and postgraduates. The least educated were most likely to turn to TV.

The poll, conducted in June, allowed respondents to give any answer when asked about their main source of news.

It marked the first time Gallup asked the question this way, but earlier polls also reflect the American love affair with television: Forty-five percent of Americans polled in 1957 said television would be harder to give up than newspapers, radio or magazines, Gallup found.


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