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March 19, 2024, 2:41 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Hanaa' Tameez   |   March 19, 2024

A new Pew Research Center study published Tuesday shows that while Latinos in the United States are largely online news consumers, their preferences and habits differ depending on what their dominant language is and where they were born.

The percentage of Latinos who say they follow the news all or most of the time dropped from 31% in 2020 to 22% in 2023, following patterns of the general U.S. population, the study found. Pew surveyed 5,078 U.S. Hispanic adults in November 2023 and weighted the data “to match the U.S. Hispanic adult population by age, gender, education, nativity, Hispanic origin group and other categories.” There are currently more than 62 million Hispanic/Latinos living in the U.S., making up 19% of the total population, according to Census data. The report uses the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” interchangeably.

More than half of U.S. Hispanic adults (54%) get their news mostly in English, while 21% say they get their news mostly in Spanish. Just 23% said they consume news in both languages equally. Of those adults, just 26% of Hispanic immigrants mostly get their news in English compared to 81% of U.S.-born Latinos. However, 41% of Hispanic immigrants get their news mainly in Spanish compared to just 2% of U.S.-born Latinos. Of bilingual Latinos, 34% said they consume news in Spanish and English equally.

The study found that Hispanic immigrants are much more likely than U.S.-born Hispanics to get news from Hispanic outlets and news about their countries of origin. In both cases, about seven in ten immigrants say they at least sometimes get these types of news: 69% get news from Hispanic outlets and 72% get news about their country of origin. Among Hispanic adults who were born in the U.S., 33% at least sometimes get news from Hispanic outlets, and 38% get news about their family’s country of origin.

“Although the survey did not gauge respondents’ interaction with any specific Hispanic news outlets, a previous Pew Research Center study found that both of the largest Spanish-language television networks — Univision and Telemundo — have experienced declines in viewership in recent years, despite the continued growth of the U.S. Hispanic population,” the report says.

Spanish-speaking Latinos, including those who are bilingual, make up the majority of the audience for Hispanic media outlets. About four in ten Latinos who say they get news from these outlets at least sometimes are predominantly Spanish speakers (43%), and a similar share are bilingual (41%). By contrast, among Latinos who rarely or never get news from Hispanic news outlets, a majority (60%) are predominantly English speakers.

Hispanic immigrants are more likely (69%) than U.S. born Latinos (33%) to consume news from Hispanic news outlets, which Pew defines as “outlets that focus on providing news and information specifically to Hispanic audiences, whether in Spanish, English or another language.” The study also found that consumption of Hispanic news outlets varies by socioeconomic status: “While 57% of Hispanic adults with lower incomes say they get news from Hispanic media outlets at least sometimes, just 29% of upper-income Hispanic adults get news from these outlets.”

In terms of platforms, 87% of Latinos get their news from digital devices (news websites and apps, social media, podcasts, and search) at least sometimes, and a majority (65%) said they get digital news over print, TV, and radio. Twenty-one percent said they prefer social media to get news, compared to 13% of Black Americans, 10% of White Americans, and 19% of  English-speaking Asian Americans. The study also found that nearly a third (29%) of Hispanic adults regularly get their news on Instagram and 25% get news from TikTok, compared to 9% of white Americans on each platform.

“Latinos are more likely than white Americans (55%) and Black Americans (50%) to prefer getting news from digital devices,” the report’s authors write. “Latinos also are more likely than white and Black adults to get news from social media, at least in part because Latino adults tend to be younger than other groups, and young adults are more inclined to use social media for news.”

Read the full study here.

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