Mobile devices reshaping the news

2012-10-02 14:01
Half of American adults own a smartphone or tablet computer, and most of them use these devices to access news. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Half of American adults own a smartphone or tablet computer, and most of them use these devices to access news. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

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Washington - Half of American adults own a smartphone or tablet computer, and most of them use these devices to access news, a study showed.

The study by the Pew Research Centre's Project for Excellence in Journalism with The Economist Group concluded that the move to mobile devices has major implications for the news industry.

It found 22% of US adults now own a tablet device, twice as many as a year ago, and another 3% use a tablet owned by someone else in their home.

Forty-four percent have smartphones, according to the survey, up from 35% in May 2011.

Some 64% of tablet owners and 62% of smartphone owners say they use the devices for news at least weekly, close to the same percentage as for e-mail or games.

New sources

The study found Americans are doing more than just clicking headlines on their mobile devices, showing that 73% of those who view news on their tablet read in-depth articles at least sometimes.

"Even with the broadening population and wide range of competing activities, mobile owners are drawn to news on their tablet and smartphones," said PEJ deputy director Amy Mitchell.

"The evidence is also mounting that mobile devices are adding to, rather than replacing, how much news people consume."

The survey found 43% of tablet news users say their tablets are adding to the amount of time they spend with the news and 31% say they are getting news from new sources they did not use before.

The report is based on a survey of 9 513 adults conducted from June - August 2012, including 4 638 mobile device owners.

The study found new lower-priced tablets introduced late 2011 brought in a new crop of tablet owners. Now, 52% of tablet owners report owning an iPad, compared with 81% a year ago. And 48% said they own an Android-based device, including 21% who said they owned a Kindle Fire.

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