The transition of news from print, television and radio to digital spaces has caused huge disruptions in the traditional news industry, especially the print news industry. It is also reflected in the ways individual Americans say they are getting their news. Today an overwhelming majority of Americans get news at least sometimes from digital devices. Explore the patterns and trends that shape the platforms Americans turn to for news below.

News consumption across platforms

A large majority of U.S. adults (84%) say they often or sometimes  get news from a smartphone, computer or tablet, including 51% who say they do so often. This is lower than the 60% of Americans who said they often got news from digital devices in 2020. The portion who gets news from digital devices continues to outpace those who get news from television. Americans turn to radio and print publications for news far less frequently than to digital devices and television.

When asked which of these platforms they prefer to get news on, half of Americans say they prefer a digital device, more than those who prefer TV, radio or print. This hasn’t changed from 2020.

News across digital platforms

Though digital devices are by far the most common way Americans access their news, where they get that news on their devices is divided among a number of different pathways. Today, news websites, apps and search engines are the digital pathways most Americans get news from at least sometimes.

Among digital devices, the most preferred one for news is news websites or apps: About a quarter of U.S. adults (24%) prefer to get their news this way, compared with 11% who prefer search, 10% who prefer to get their news on social media and 4% who say they prefer podcasts. The share of Americans who prefer to get news from each type of digital platform hasn’t changed from 2020.

Who uses each news platform

News consumption across platforms varies by factors such as age, gender, race, ethnicity and educational attainment. Americans under 50 are more likely to turn to digital devices and prefer them for getting news than are those ages 50 and older. Conversely, Americans 50 and older are more likely to turn to and prefer television.

% of U.S. adults in each demographic group who get news at least sometimes from …
















  Television Radio Print
publications
Digital devices
Total 67% 50% 34% 84%
Men 63% 52% 33% 84%
Women 71% 49% 35% 83%
Ages 18-29 45% 35% 20% 90%
30-49 58% 52% 26% 89%
50-64 78% 58% 36% 82%
65+ 85% 51% 56% 73%
White 67% 52% 36% 84%
Black 79% 56% 37%80%
Hispanic 68% 44% 27% 84%
Asian* 50% 40% 30% 90%
High school or less 73% 48% 32% 74%
Some college 66% 51% 32%87%
College+ 62% 52% 38%91%
Less than $30K 68% 46% 30%75%
$30K-$79,999 68% 50% 33%84%
More than $80K 65% 55% 37%92%
Rep/Lean Rep 66% 54% 33% 83%
Dem/Lean Dem 69% 49% 36% 86%

*Asian adults were interviewed in English only.
Note: White, Black and Asian adults include those who report being only one race and are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race.
Source: Survey of U.S. adults conducted July 26-Aug. 8, 2021.

% of U.S. adults in each demographic group who get news at least sometimes from …
















  News websites or apps Social media Search Podcasts
Total 66% 48% 63% 23%
Men 67% 41% 62% 25%
Women 64% 54% 63% 21%
Ages 18-29 60% 71% 68% 33%
30-49 71% 55% 68% 29%
50-64 68% 38% 62% 18%
65+ 59% 31% 51% 12%
White 67% 45% 61% 23%
Black 64% 51% 64%22%
Hispanic 61% 59% 65% 24%
Asian* 72% 55% 72% 24%
High school or less 54% 47% 55% 17%
Some college 65% 50% 66%25%
College+ 78% 47% 67%28%
Less than $30K 54% 50% 58%20%
$30K-$79,999 64% 50% 62%23%
More than $80K 77% 45% 67%26%
Rep/Lean Rep 64% 45% 60% 23%
Dem/Lean Dem 69% 52% 66% 24%

*Asian adults were interviewed in English only.
Note: White, Black and Asian adults include those who report being only one race and are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race.
Source: Survey of U.S. adults conducted July 26-Aug. 8, 2021.

% of U.S. adults in each demographic group who say they prefer ___ for getting news









  Television Radio Print
publications
Digital devices
Total 36% 7% 5% 50%
Men 31% 9% 5% 53%
Women 41% 6% 5% 46%
Ages 18-29 11% 5% 3% 77%
30-49 26% 8% 3% 62%
50-64 48% 8% 4% 38%
65+ 57% 5% 12% 24%
White 35% 8% 6% 49%
Black 53% 4% 4%38%
Hispanic 33% 6% 3% 56%
Asian* 22% 3% 3% 70%
High school or less 49% 6% 4% 39%
Some college 33% 7% 5%53%
College+ 24% 8% 7%59%
Less than $30K 44% 5% 4%43%
$30K-$79,999 37% 7% 5%50%
More than $80K 27% 9% 6%58%
Rep/Lean Rep 34% 9% 6% 49%
Dem/Lean Dem 37% 6% 5% 51%

*Asian adults were interviewed in English only.
Note: White, Black and Asian adults include those who report being only one race and are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race.
Source: Survey of U.S. adults conducted July 26-Aug. 8, 2021.

% of U.S. adults in each demographic group who say they prefer ___ for getting news









  News websites or apps Social media Search Podcasts
Total 24% 10% 11% 4%
Men 28% 8% 12% 5%
Women 21% 12% 10% 3%
Ages 18-29 20% 29% 19% 9%
30-49 31% 12% 14% 5%
50-64 24% 4% 8% 2%
65+ 18% 1% 4% 1%
White 26% 8% 10% 4%
Black 15% 10% 10%3%
Hispanic 19% 21% 12% 3%
Asian* 32% 16% 18% 5%
High school or less 15% 11% 10% 3%
Some college 23% 13% 13%4%
College+ 37% 8% 10%5%
Less than $30K 14% 15% 12%3%
$30K-$79,999 22% 11% 12%4%
More than $80K 36% 7% 10%5%
Rep/Lean Rep 25% 8% 12% 4%
Dem/Lean Dem 25% 13% 10% 4%

*Asian adults were interviewed in English only.
Note: White, Black and Asian adults include those who report being only one race and are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race.
Source: Survey of U.S. adults conducted July 26-Aug. 8, 2021.

Find out more

This fact sheet was compiled by Associate Director Katerina Eva Matsa and Research Assistant Sarah Naseer.

Read the methodology and topline.

Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This is the latest report in Pew Research Center’s ongoing investigation of the state of news, information and journalism in the digital age, a research program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Follow these links for more in-depth analysis of news consumption:

Americans who relied most on Trump for COVID-19 news among least likely to be vaccinated, Sept. 23, 2021

News Consumption Across Social Media in 2021, Sept. 20, 2021

About four-in-ten Americans say social media is an important way of following COVID-19 vaccine news, Aug. 24, 2021

Large Majorities of Newsmax and OAN News Consumers Also Go to Fox News, March 23, 2021

How Americans Navigated the News in 2020: A Tumultuous Year in Review, Feb. 22, 2021

More than eight-in-ten Americans get news from digital devices, Jan. 12, 2021

Measuring News Consumption in a Digital Era, Dec. 8, 2020

Many Americans Get News on YouTube, Where News Organizations and Independent Producers Thrive Side by Side, Sept. 28, 2020

Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media Are Less Engaged, Less Knowledgeable, July 30, 2020

Younger adults differ from older ones in perceptions of news about COVID-19, George Floyd protests, July 9, 2020

Read all reports and short reads related to news platforms and sources.