Thursday, July 20, 2017

Poll: 42 Percent Seek Out News on Facebook Several Times a Day

Americans are consuming news more frequently via Facebook than traditional news sites or Google, despite the social media platform’s complicated recent history with factually incorrect stories.

Forty-two percent of U.S. adults say they access Facebook several times a day, compared with 20 percent for traditional news outlets, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. Facebook’s share includes 47 percent of adults under the age of 30 and 52 percent of Americans between the ages of 30 and 44.

Thirty-six percent of respondents 65 and older said they never use Facebook for their news — and 30 percent of that age group said the same about sites such as CNN and Fox News. Roughly 20 percent of each age group reported accessing a specific news site at least once a day, according to the poll of 2,201 U.S. adults conducted July 13 through July 15.

Facebook’s appeal as a news source is bipartisan: Forty-three percent of Democrats and an equal percentage of Republicans said they log on several times a day to read the news.

News Media Alliance President and Chief Executive David Chavern wrote in a July 9 Wall Street Journal opinion piece that his group is proposing “safe harbor” laws to place news organizations on an equal playing field with the likes of Facebook and Google. He noted how much control the two companies exercise over ad revenue and digital distribution.

The issue with that kind of control over advertising revenue crops up because Google and Facebook do not consider themselves media companies, said Jason Kint, chief executive of the trade association Digital Content Next.

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