The way we consume news is a hot topic in the media industry. Startups like Circa are banking on the fact that people frequently prefer their news updates delivered in snack-sized bites. Others, like Ezra Klein’s yet-to-launch Vox, are betting big on readers who might want to wade deep into tricky, complicated subject matter, like the history of the crisis in Ukraine.
A new survey, however, unearthed some interesting data regarding our news consumption: Readers don’t seem to really care about what organization they’re getting their news from, or what device format they’re reading on; what matters, really, is the news itself.
The survey is part of the just-announced Media Insight Project, a joint effort between the American Press Institute (API), the Associated Press, and NORC at the University of Chicago. Its initial focus is on the “personal news cycle,” or how various content platforms and gadgets fit into the consumption habits of Americans.
“The findings suggest the conventional wisdom holding that media consumption divides largely along generational or ideological lines is overstated,” write the study’s administrators in the abstract, “and that some long-held beliefs about people relying on a few primary sources for news are now obsolete.” Worth noting: For this research, 1,492 adults were surveyed over the phone about their media diets.