Survey: More workers turn to Web for news, info

Online news sites could be the survivors of the dot-com downturn, a survey released Wednesday suggests, as adult workers are reportedly racking up more time reading news and information online than they are consuming traditional media such as television, newspapers, radio and magazines.

According to a survey conducted by Market Facts Inc. for news site MSNBC.com, the at-work audience increasingly find themselves accessing online news for personally relevant information such as weather, stock quotes and local news.

In fact, of the 351 users surveyed, 35 percent of respondents use the Internet for news and information during the day, while 25 percent read newspapers, 21 percent peruse magazines and 17 percent listen to the radio. Another 6 percent get their at-work news from broadcast television and 3 percent watch cable television, the survey said.

Furthermore, the Internet is the medium of choice for national news, with 37 percent of respondents saying they go online for this purpose, compared to the 25 percent who get their national news from cable TV and 18 percent who prefer broadcast TV.

The three news topics Internet users find most important are local news, national news and world news.

Not surprisingly, the survey finds that workers with broadband connections access more streaming video, audio and rich media. High-speed Internet users said they watch streaming video 5.1 times a month, versus dial-up users who report watching streaming video 1.5 times per month, the survey said.

While the findings may be heartening for online news providers, the plethora of existing news sites and the cost of producing content makes competition fierce. Many news providers have turned from a free to a subscription business model to keep up, while some have closed down.

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