updated 12:15 pm EDT, Mon March 14, 2011
Pew says web more popular than newspapers
Pew and the Knight Foundation in a new study has said the web has finally overtaken newspapers as the primary source of news. Internet sources are now only less popular than TV for news, and the gap between the two was "closing," Pew said. About 47 percent of those were getting news from a smartphone or another mobile device, usually for quick info such as traffic and weather.
The tablet played a role and was growing rapidly in adoption; about seven percent of Americans had an iPad or another tablet in January, twice as many as those who had one in September.
How the news industry might fare was called into uncertainty. Newspapers as a dying medium had lost about 30 percent of their staff in the past decade, and they were increasingly dependent on aggregators like Google News or social tools such as Facebook, RSS readers and Twitter, where readers might skim without helping the original source's ad revenues or viewer counts.
They've also increasingly had to follow device rules, such as Apple's determination to block outside subscriptions or the looser but still present Google controls.
The report countered the downturn with word of online media outlets beginning to take on more original reporting and traditional sources moving more into digital. News Corp in particular has been pushing hard on tablet news through the launch of The Daily and may have tapped as many as 150 workers just to serve the iPad and, eventually, Android users.