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Americans Wants News, Not Newspapers

From sheep to bees

Pew Internet has released its contribution to Pew’s annual report on the state of the news media.

My take on the results: Online users generally want news, but we don’t much care where it comes from. 71% of us get our news online, but only 35% of us have a favorite site. Of those 35%, only 65% check it every day. And only 18% of us are willing to pay for online news (a percentage that includes those of us who already do pay). Most of us which would switch sites if they began charging.

The report casually describes our activity as “grazing,” which I’d push back on. My guess is that often we’re going to news sites because someone we know or someone we read has linked to the site. We’re more like bees than like sheep, darting out of the hive when one of our co-bees does an interesting enough little dance.

Anyway, it’s the usual great work by Pew. Thanks, and thanks for posting it for free.

And while were on the semi-subject, here’s a status report from Google about what it’s been doing with DoubleClick and display ads.

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More Stories By David Weinberger

David is the author of JOHO the blog ( He is an independent marketing consultant and a frequent speaker at various conferences. "All I can promise is that I will be honest with you and never write something I don't believe in because someone is paying me as part of a relationship you don't know about. Put differently: All I'll hide are the irrelevancies."