Pew: State of the News Media 2015

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Reposted from the Pew Research Center on Journalism and Media:

Call it a mobile majority. At the start of 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites have more traffic to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of comScore data.

At the same time, though, desktop visitors to these sites tend to spend more time per visit than do mobile visitors. For half of these top 50 news sites – which include legacy print, cable, network, international and public broadcasting outlets as well as digital-only entities – visitors from desktops stay longer than those coming through mobile. The reverse is true for only 10 of the sites, while for 15 sites the time spent is roughly equal.

In tandem with the growth of mobile has been the further rise of the social Web, where the flow of information embodies a whole new dynamic. Some of our 2014 research revealed that nearly half of Web-using adults report getting news about politics and government in the past week on Facebook alone, a platform where influence is driven to a strong degree by friends and algorithms.

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Report: Local News in a Digital Age

pewmedia

Reposted from the Pew Research Center on Journalism & Media:

Whether in a tech-savvy metropolis or a city where the town square is still the communication hub, local news matters deeply to the lives of residents. Across three disparate metro areas in the U.S., nearly nine-in-ten residents follow local news closely—and about half do so very closely, according to a new, in-depth Pew Research Center study, conducted in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. About two-thirds of the residents in each city discuss local news in person a few times a week or more.

During a period of tremendous technological change—change that is far from complete—this study takes a microscope to the information streams in three news environments across the United States: Denver, Colorado—a highly educated urban area of more than 2 million with internet adoption above the national average and a large Hispanic population (19%); Macon, Georgia—a metro area of 175,000 with a substantial share of black residents (41%), an unemployment rate above the national average, and a local university working to serve as a hub for journalism innovation; and Sioux City, Iowa—a city that spans three states and has a predominantly white population of just 125,000. These cities are not meant to be extrapolated to the United States as a whole, but rather serve as a set of case studies on the ebb and flow of daily local news that speak to the diversity of modern American cities.

Across these three cities, the study picks up traces of the start of direct participation in the news process, and at fairly equal levels. No more than 10% in each city have submitted their own local content to a news provider in the past year; about 10% have called in to a local radio or TV show; roughly two-in-ten have commented on a local news blog. But it is in the small metro area of Sioux City where residents are most likely to have spoken with or been interviewed by a local journalist (29%, compared with 23% in Macon and 16% in Denver).

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Gap Between Middle & Upper Income Families Widens

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Reposted from the Pew Research Center:

The wealth gap between America’s high income group and everyone else has reached record high levels since the economic recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-09, with a clear trajectory of increasing wealth for the upper-income families and no wealth growth for the middle- and lower-income families.

A new Pew Research Center analysis of wealth finds the gap between America’s upper-income and middle-income families has reached its highest level on record. In 2013, the median wealth of the nation’s upper-income families ($639,400) was nearly seven times the median wealth of middle-income families ($96,500), the widest wealth gap seen in 30 years when the Federal Reserve began collecting these data.

It could help explain why, by other measures, the majority of Americans are not feeling the impact of the economic recovery, despite an improvement in the unemployment rate, stock market and housing prices. In October, just one-in-five Americans rated the country’s economic conditions as “excellent” or “good,” an improvement from the 8% who said that four years ago, but far from a cheery assessment. And a new poll released this week found higher-income adults are hearing about better economic news than lower-income adults, with 15 percentage point difference between the two groups on the “good news” they’re hearing about the job situation, for example.

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Take the Pew Web IQ Quiz!

PewwebquizTest your knowledge of technology and the web by taking our short 12-question quiz. When you finish, you will be able to compare your “Web IQ” with the average online American based on the results of our nationally representative survey of 1,066 adult internet users conducted September 12-18. You can also see how your results compare to online Americans based on age, gender and education.

Begin the quiz here.

The Gigabit Age: Killer Apps and the Semantic Web

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Reposted from the Pew Research Internet Project:

In 2014, Google and Verizon were among the innovators announcing that they are testing the capabilities for currently installed fiber networks to carry data even more efficiently – at 10 gigabits per second – to businesses that handle large amounts of Internet traffic.

To explore the possibilities of the next leap in connectivity we asked thousands of experts and Internet builders to share their thoughts about likely new Internet activities and applications that might emerge in the gigabit age. We call this a canvassing because it is not a representative, randomized survey. Its findings emerge from an “opt in” invitation to experts, many of whom play active roles in Internet evolution as technology builders, researchers, managers, policymakers, marketers, and analysts. We also invited comments from those who have made insightful predictions to our previous queries about the future of the Internet.

How could people benefit from a gigabit network? One expert in this study, David Weinberger, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, predicted, “There will be full, always-on, 360-degree environmental awareness, a semantic overlay on the real world, and full-presence massive open online courses. Plus Skype won’t break up nearly as much.”

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Pew: How Millennials Engage with Libraries

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Reposted from the Pew Research Internet Project:

“Younger Americans – those ages 16 and 29 – especially fascinate researchers and organizations because of their advanced technology habits, their racial and ethnic diversity, their looser relationships to institutions such as political parties and organized religion, and the ways in which their social attitudes differ from their elders. This report pulls together several years of research into the role of libraries in the lives of Americans and their communities with a special focus on Millennials, a key stakeholder group affecting the future of communities, libraries, book publishers and media makers of all kinds, as well as the tone of the broader culture.

Looking specifically at technology use at libraries, we found that as a group, patrons under age 30 are more likely than older patrons to use libraries’ computers and internet connections, but less likely to say these resources are very important to them and their families—particularly the youngest patrons, ages 16-17. Even though they are not as likely to say libraries are important, young adults do give libraries credit for embracing technology. Yet while younger age groups are often more ambivalent about the role an importance of libraries today than older adults, they do not necessarily believe that libraries have fallen behind in the technological sphere. Though respondents ages 16-29 were more likely than those ages 30 and older to agree that “public libraries have not done a good job keeping up with newer technologies” (43% vs. 31%), a majority of younger Americans (52%) disagreed with that statement overall.

This report covers the core findings from three major national surveys of Americans ages 16 and older. Many of the findings come from a survey of 6,224 Americans ages 16+ conducted in the fall of 2013. A full statement of the survey method and details can be found here.

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