Blacks Most Likely to Get News From TV

Television remains the No. 1 news source for Americans overall, with the Internet second, but blacks, whites and Latinos tend to turn to different channels.

Generic image (Thinkstock)
Generic image (Thinkstock)

Internet Is Second Choice for All Groups, Gallup Says

Television is the main place Americans say they turn to for news about current events (55%), leading the Internet, at 21%,” the Gallup Organization reported Monday, with people of color turning to television more than whites and less to the Internet, print and radio.

The organization noted that Americans have an abundance of news choices. But when consumers named a single television news source, Univision led among Hispanics, at 6 percent, and MSNBC among blacks, at 4 percent, according to figures Gallup provided to Journal-isms.

Among whites, the preferences were television, 25 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 19 percent; newspapers, 7 percent; radio, 4 percent; local TV News, 3 percent.

Among nonwhites, television, 27 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 16 percent; newspapers, 3 percent; radio, 2 percent; local TV news, 5 percent.

Among blacks, television, 31 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 9 percent; newspapers, 3 percent; radio, 2 percent; local TV news, 8 percent.

Among Hispanics, television, 26 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 19 percent; newspapers, 1 percent; radio, 2 percent; local TV news, 3 percent.

Overall, 9 percent said newspapers or other print publications were their main news source, followed by radio, at 6 percent.

“These results are based on a Gallup poll of 2,048 national adults conducted June 20-24, in which Americans were asked to say, unaided, what they consider to be their main source of news about U.S. and global events,” Lydia Saad reported for Gallup.

She continued, “If the current media preferences of young adults are any indicator of the future, the data offer good news for TV, but bad news for print media. Half of adults aged 18 to 29 and half aged 30 to 49 identify television as their main source of news. This is nearly double the rate for the Internet even among these more tech-savvy populations. However, it does differ from older generations who put relatively more emphasis on TV and less on the Internet.

“At the same time, heavy reliance on print is exclusive to seniors, among whom 18% cite newspapers or other print publications as their main source of news. By contrast, 6% to 8% of younger age groups rely on print.

“Few adults of any age say their main source of news is radio. While many Americans certainly tune in to radio for entertainment as well as talk radio, it is clearly not the place most turn for hard news about current events. . . .”

However, the survey noted that employment is a key determinant of news choices. “Working Americans — those employed, either full or part time — are much more likely than those not currently working to identify the Internet as their main source of news, 26% vs. 15%. Those not working prefer television at a correspondingly higher rate; nevertheless, television is the top choice among both groups.

“Additionally, employed adults are more likely to cite radio as their primary news source, likely reflecting the listening habits of some commuters. . . .”

Fox News Channel was chosen by 10 percent of whites, 1 percent of blacks, 5 percent of Hispanics and 3 percent of nonwhites (including Asian Americans and Native Americans); CNN was chosen by 6 percent of whites, 11 percent of blacks and 9 percent of Hispanics and 9 percent of nonwhites.

MSNBC was the choice of 1 percent of whites, 4 percent of blacks, 1 percent of Hispanics and 2 percent of nonwhites.

Saad wrote, “Fox News is a clear driver of Republicans’ higher tendency to turn to television for their news, with 20% versus 6% of independents and 1% of Democrats, naming it as their main news source. No other television, print, or online news source generates as much loyalty from either Democrats or independents. The closest is CNN, named by 10% of Democrats, 6% of independents, and 4% of Republicans.

“Underscoring the different partisan preferences of those who rely on Fox News vs. CNN for their news, the demographic and political profile[s] of Americans who name each as their top news source are highly distinct. For example, nearly two-thirds of Fox News-oriented news consumers are 50 and older, compared with barely a third of CNN-oriented news consumers: 66% vs. 35%. Relatedly, 69% of the Fox News group is married, versus 37% of the CNN group.

“Additionally, core CNN viewers are more likely than core Fox News viewers to be male, while core Fox News viewers are much more likely than core CNN viewers to be white, Protestant, attend church weekly, and to earn $75,000 or more per year. . . .”

The Gallup sample included 1,574 whites, 419 nonwhites, 164 blacks and 192 Hispanics.

Gallup Organization polling took a credibility hit when it showed Republican Mitt Romney with a significant lead among likely voters 10 days before the Nov. 6 presidential election and marginally ahead of President Obama on the eve of an election that Obama won by about 3 percentage points. Frank Newport, Gallup editor in chief, conceded then that Gallup might have underestimated the number of likely black and Hispanic voters by the way it posed its questions.

Noah Rothman, Mediaite: Even Democrats Increasingly Reject MSNBC’s Spin

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Fox News rules news; MSNBC certainly doesn’t: Gallup 

Reporter Finds Calif. Forcibly Sterilized Female Inmates

Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found, Corey G. Johnson reported Sunday for the center.

“At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years — and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews. . . .”

Johnson pointed out, “The allegations echo those made nearly a half-century ago, when forced sterilizations of prisoners, the mentally ill and the poor were commonplace in California. State lawmakers officially banned such practices in 1979.”

Johnson, 38, is one of the few black journalists doing investigative reporting full-time. “I’ve put in several months work on this,” he told Journal-isms by email, referring to the sterilization story. “A CNN report on eugenics in the 1900s piqued my interest. I had no idea of how big of a role California played before watching that report. From there, I wanted to know more. And as I dug, I got a tip that questionable sterilizations may had occurred more recently in the prisons.”

Johnson was featured in this space last year, when the Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch won Scripps Howard’s Roy W. Howard Award for Public Service for “On Shaky Ground,” a 19-month series detailing a breakdown in the way the state protects children and teachers from the threat of a major earthquake.

At a session on diversity two weeks ago at the American Society of News Editors convention in Washington, Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief of the investigative site ProPublica, said he had just left the annual convention of Investigative Reporters and Editors, where “lack of diversity in the ranks of investigative reporters” had been a topic.

Keith Woods, vice president for diversity in news and operations at NPR, who was leading the session, said investigative reporters should ask themselves, “How’d you wind up there? Look at the interns, and where are the people of color in the organization now, and where are they getting the opportunity to stretch.

“There’s a need to attend to it consciously,” Woods said. “We’re still uncomfortable saying, ‘You’re a woman, and I’m going to do something that’s inspired by that fact.’ We get a little queasy.” He recalled that while at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, editor Jim Amoss sent him to South Africa in 1990 when Nelson Mandela was about to be freed from prison. “It was so far from being anything I’d seen before,” Woods said, but Amoss allowed him to “stretch.”

Sun-Times Editor Sorry “If Anybody Was Offended”

A front-page headline in the Chicago Sun-Times provoked debate after Saturday’s Asiana airline tragedy in San Francisco. Some who saw the tabloid’s cover took offense, contending that the headline — ‘Fright 214’ — perpetuated the oft-used stereotype of an Asian accent,” Bobby Caina Calvan, Media Watch chair of the Asian American Journalists Association, wrote Sunday.

“While we at the Asian American Journalists Association are willing to give the Sun-Times the benefit of the doubt, the headline used to accompany the paper’s coverage was certainly unfortunate. An editor should have caught the racially tinged wording.

“In a brief telephone conversation on Sunday, Sun-Times Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk said it didn’t dawn on his editors that the play on words could be construed as offensive.

” ‘There was nothing intentional on our part to play off any stereotypes. … If anybody was offended by that, we are sorry,’ Kirk added.

” ‘We were trying to convey the obviously frightening situation of that landing,’ Kirk said. . . .”

Kirk did not respond to a question from Journal-isms about the extent of diversity among its editors. The Sun-Times did not participate in the latest newsroom diversity census [PDF] of the American Society of News Editors.

Calvan wrote, “If the Sun-Times’ copy desk is like many others in newsrooms across the nation, it probably lacked the diversity of voices on staff that might have questioned the appropriateness of the headline. . . .”

On the Facebook page of media blogger Jim Romenesko, a “friend” named Roger Ailes commented, “Sun-Times headline writer real Ah So.”

Ailes is the name of the president of Fox News Channel and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group.

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