Perhaps the politicians would rather the masses skip The Daily Show starring Jon Stewart. Those viewers tend to be the most informed about current events even though they watch a fake news show, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
“The audiences for radio and cable talk shows tend to be dominated by older Americans, with two notable exceptions - the Colbert Report and the Daily Show. Fully 43% of Colbert’s regular viewers are younger than 30, as are 42% of Stewart’s regular viewers. That is roughly double the proportion of people younger than 30 in the general public (21%).”
More highly educated affluent people spend time gathering the news than others using both the Internet and television news shows. Called Integrators they want to be informed about politics and what's going on in Washington with a heavy dose of sports news on the side.
The latest Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey took place by telephone from April 30 to June 1 using 3,612 adults throughout the United States. They found four distinct segments of today's news audience.
Today's News Audience, 2008Integrators
comprise 23% of the public; the less populous
get the news from both traditional sources and the Internet, are a more engaged, sophisticated and demographically sought-after audience segment than those who mostly rely on traditional news sources.
(13%) youngest of the news user segments (median age: 35)
better educated than the Intergrators
more than 8 in 10 have attended college
they are leading the way in using new web features and other technologies. Nearly twice as many regularly watch news clips on the Internet as regularly watch nightly network news broadcasts (30% vs. 18%).
- the oldest (median age: 52) and largest news segment (46% of the public)
43% are not employed and 60% have no more than a high school education
(14%) who stand out for their low levels of interest in the news and news consumption.
55% of the Disengaged get any news on a typical day, and just 20% know that the Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives.
The survey found that Net-Newsers don't on average view television news everyday. They are more likely to read an online newspaper than the printed version.
They are more likely to get their news from the BBC as opposed to ABC or NBC.
The Traditionalists are most likely to turn to the television to get their news. They are more likely to choose video to understand what's going on in the world around them.
Since the 1990's Americans have been weaning themselves off print when it comes to the news. Newspaper viewers have fallen by 40% since that time period. The Internet can not be named as the sole reason for this.
Since 2006 television news consumers have remained about the same. The changes though have been where consumers go to view their news. With cable becoming more popular more are watching cable news than ever before.
Radio news is also a favorite part of the Integrator's quest for the news. Nearly half of this group listens to radio news in any given day.