The Popcorn Stand: As long social media still gets its info from newspapers, we’ll be OK
I understand the reality of being in the profession of working for a newspaper (not a news website, a newspaper), but I still want to utter the words “say it ain’t so” when I see studies like this.
For the first time ever, social media has overtaken newspapers as a more popular source for U.S. adults to get their news. So now newspapers basically rank last when it comes to how U.S. adults get their news.
A Pew research study found 20 percent of U.S. adults get their news from social media while only 16 percent get their news from newspapers. Now when referring to social media, the Pew study isn’t referring to news websites, that’s a separate category. It’s referring to sources like Facebook, which is concerning since social media aren’t exactly the most accurate or credible sources of information.
Television still ranks as the most popular news source at 49 percent followed by news websites (33 percent) and radio (26 percent).
The Onion, a news parody website that does its job so well it’s sometimes mistaken for real news, did provide a couple of mock quotes from fictitious people reacting to this news.
“Right, I remember reading about this on Instagram,” was one of the quotes. But I particularly like this one fictitious quote which was about as accurate as a quote could be: “As long as the people reading it on TV still get it from newspapers, we’ll be fine.”
I must admit I do peruse the news websites and what I found is the people on these news websites providing the news quite often admit the found the information they’re providing in a newspaper.
You see for the most part, it’s still reporters who work for newspapers who are in the trenches getting all that information all the other news sources regurgitate.
My favorite columnist, Red Smith, in which this Popcorn Stand is named in his honor, once said, “All I ever wanted was to be called a good reporter.” That’s all I ever wanted.
Thankfully, most of that good reporting is still done by newspapers.
— Charles Whisnand