Facebook, Comedy Central: Gain on Traditional, More-Trusted Sources

Photograph by Brendan SmialowskiAFP/Getty Images

A view of an iPad and iPhone Facebook screen.

While most people still turn to traditional sources of media for news, the laptop, tablet and smart phone are catching up.

”There has been a significant movement toward new media,” said David Lauter, chief of Tribune Co.’s Washington bureau, detailing the findings of a new survey that has found 40 percent turning to their electronic devices for news.

One in four say they use Facebook on a daily basis to find information about politics.

With a gentle wind stirring around the Republican Party’s convention hall in Tampa and a sporadic drizzle falling from an overcast sky,  the survey sponsored by Bloomberg, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center on Communication, Leadership and Policy and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government was rolled out today at one of many events Bloomberg and its partners are sponsoring across the river from the Republican National Convention.

Younger voters turn more heavily to the likes of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, this survey found, yet they still count on traditional sources. The  survey ranked trust in news sources, and found local TV newscasts outranking Jon Stewart — with Twitter trailing behind.

Younger voters rely on social media heavily. Asked about what they have learned on Facebook, 58 percent said it was news they already had heard somewhere else, and about one-third were finding news. It could be, Lauter said, that people are going to social media to confirm what they already have heard.

A majority of those surveyed said they had first heard the news of Rep. Paul Ryan’s selection as a running mate for Mitt Romney on TV, while younger voters tended to have heard about it online.

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