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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Pew Research has a study out today on news and social media. Most of the findings aren’t particularly surprising — people who use Facebook also use other platforms; younger people are more likely to use Twitter, while middle-aged people are more likely to use Facebook; Democrats are more active social news consumers than Republicans across platforms. Anther expected outcome: Twitter and Reddit are the platforms where the largest shares of their users use them to get news.

But what’s interesting is that those numbers don’t translate to reach (emphasis added):

YouTube has the next greatest reach in terms of general usage, at 51% of U.S. adults. Thus, even though only a fifth of its users get news there, that amounts to 10% of the adult population, which puts it on par with Twitter. Twitter reaches just 16% of U.S. adults, but half (8% of U.S. adults) use it for news. Reddit is a news destination for nearly two-thirds of its users (62%). But since just 3% of the U.S. population uses Reddit, that translates to 2% of the population that gets news there.

The study also looks at mobile behaviors, traditional versus social news consumption, and how many different platforms people are using to consume news.

— Caroline O'Donovan
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Caroline O'Donovan    April 23, 2014
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