[Digital Brief] How Americans Encounter, Recall and Act Upon Digital News (Pew)

February 9, 2017

Social media and direct visits to news organizations’ websites are the most common sources for news online, according to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, "How Americans Encounter, Recall and Act Upon Digital News."  The study also reveals that most poeple are aware of the sources of news they consume, which is important with respect to a rising concern over fake news.  Read more.

The study also sheds light on whether people are actually aware of the sources of news they consume – a question all the more relevant in light of the prevalence of fabricated news stories during the final weeks of the 2016 election. It reveals that when consumers click on a link to get to news, they can often recall the news source’s name. Individuals who said they followed a link to a news story were asked if they could write down the name of the news outlet they landed on. On average, they provided a name 56% of the time. But they were far more able to do so when that link came directly from a news organization – such as through an email or text alert from the news organization itself – than when it came from social media or an email or text from a friend. It was also the case that 10% of consumers, when asked to name the source of the news, wrote in “Facebook” as a specific news outlet.

Follow-up actions most likely when news is from friends’ emails and texts; community and health news among topics most acted upon