Sitting around the pool last week, my friends and I were discussing the Dayton region news media options. We all agreed that since we have young children, watching the evening news introduces too much violence and complex subject material. Most of us had canceled our newspaper subscriptions long ago and use the web as our primary news source. The conversation went something like this.
“Do you find yourself getting your news from your Facebook newsfeed more than DDN?”
Practically in unison, my 3 friends replied “yes.” One said “The news covered in DDN isn’t really news for me… it is like reading the police blotter. And a house fire on the other side of town just isn’t news.” Another said “I connect with the Facebook pages for news sources that I like – NPR, DMM, and Huffington Post. Then I read the stories that are of interest to me.” My other friend said “You don’t get neighborhood specific news anymore from a newspaper… but you don’t really need it because you have your neighbors as your Facebook friends and they tell you the news… or you have the city of Dayton as your Facebook friend and they give you the news. With so little in-depth investigative reporting, the traditional media just doesn’t have much more to offer.”
While I live in something of a bubble devoid of news sometimes, I hear about the important things… Proposition 8, toxic fires causing air pollution where I live, LeBron James going to Miami (ok, not important but keeps me from “living under a rock” status)… etc. all from Facebook first… then I go to another source to get more details.
Here are some interesting statistics…
- Facebook is considered the 4th largest source of traffic for news and media sites after Google, Yahoo! And MSN.
- 44% of news readers say they share news and information via social networks (usually Facebook and Twitter)
- Traffic to news sites directed from Facebook has grown to over 3.5% from .5% in the last year. Google News has not seen significant growth in the same time period (only 1.39%.)
What about you? Do you still rely on traditional media sources, or do you find yourself using social networks to get local and national news? Do you now Google or Facebook more?