The Pew Internet & American Life Project, as part of its ongoing telephone survey, polled roughly 2,200 U.S. residents on their sources of political information and news during the past election cycle.
The results are a window into the larger phenomenon of the relationship between traditional media and the Internet.
According to the survey, 75 million people (37 percent of the adult population and 61 percent of online users) get political news online, as well as engage in other politics-related activities.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that the Internet was their primary news source, compared with 17 percent for radio. More striking were the results among broadband at home users: 38 percent cited the Internet their major political news source vs. 36 percent for newsapers.The numbers were more pronounced (51 percent vs. 33 percent) when users had broadband at home and work. Television, however, remained the dominant medium for political news across all categories of users (79 percent).
The findings reflect larger broadband usage trends, which show the Internet sharing the spotlight with (fragmentation) or taking share from traditional media (television excepted in this context).