Knight Center
Knight Center


Two new reports analyze social media and news consumption, trust in the U.S.

In general, people in the United States are spending just a fraction of their time online with news in comparison with social networks, and the next generation of online users are relying on social media and television for their news, according to two reports published the week of Sept. 12.

In a report from Nielson released Monday, "State of the Media: The Social Media Report," results show that people in the United States spend 22.5% of their Internet time on social networks and blogs, and just 2.6% on news.

Other key findings from the report include:
* Nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visit social networks and blogs
* Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website
* Close to 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone
* Social networking apps are the third most-used among U.S. smartphone owners
* Internet users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the Mobile Internet

Meanwhile, a new report from the Knight Foundation looking at social media and the First Amendment shows that among U.S. high school students, there is a "clear, positive relationship between student use of social media" and "greater support for free expression rights." However, most teachers did not support freedom of expression for students, the report said.

Further, 92% of high-schoolers said it's important to stay informed about the news, and 88% said newspapers are very or somewhat truthful, but only 42% said they read a print article. Further, only 42% said social networks were trusted sources for information, and yet 56% of teens said social media is where they get their news.


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