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Monday, March 07, 2005

Internet Surpasses Radio In Reach And Rivals Newspapers

The Internet surpassed radio as a source for political news in the United States last year as more people went online to keep up with the presidential election campaign, according to a new report released on Sunday. As many as 75 million Americans used the internet during the 2004 elections to get news, discuss politics through e-mails or to participate directly in the political process by volunteering or contributing money,Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults used the Internet to get political news last year, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.That's up from 4 percent in 1996 and 18 percent in 2000. Television remained the dominant medium for most voters, but 18 percent said they got most of their political news from the Internet, compared with 17 percent who said they turned to the radio for their news. For those with a broadband connection at home, the Internet rivaled newspapers in importance.
Michael Cornfield, Senior Research Consultant to the Project writes in his commentary,the Internet's distinctive role in politics has arisen because it can be used in multiple ways. Part deliberative town square, part raucous debating society, part research library, part instant news source, and part comedy club, the Internet connects voters to a wealth of content and commentary about politics. This is the first report that I am seeing where traditional media reach could be surpassed by the internet - clearly sign of things to come.

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