TV remains main news source for most Americans

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While emergent social media may seem more popular than older forms of communication, according to a survey by Gallup, TV is still the main news source for most Americans.

In a poll of 2,048 adults, Gallup found that found 55 percent of Americans still get their news from television. Roughly 21 percent of Americans found their news on the Internet, while nine percent found it in newspapers and six percent get their news through the radio.

Journalism professor Kate Dawson said television’s unique delivery helps it stand out when compared with other forms of media.

“Most people are very visual and it’s easier, in some ways, to tell a story with video,” Dawson said. “Viewers can connect with the subjects, they’re more tangible. I think you leave a news story with a lasting image in your head.”

Ian Reese, the station manager of Texas Student TV, said television could turn the challenges of social media to its advantage.

“TV has figured out ways to utilize these social media platforms, building in interactive components involving mobile devices and PCs into everything from reality TV to evening news,” Reese said.

However, time limits and hastiness cannot be underestimated and still impose limits, said journalism senior Syeda Hasan.

Hasan said she thought TV lacks deep analysis of news events because it is much more condensed than print media.

“There are a lot of things you have to cut out in order to convey what’s most important in the story, and there is less room to expand on the details,” Hasan said.

Journalism professor Bill Minutaglio said traditional media have not yet figured out the right business model to prosper and still convey the news in the new information era, which is why UT now combines various forms of media in its evolving journalism curriculum. 

Dawson said students should know more than just one form of media to work in the current media environment. 

“In this new world of journalism, everything changes so quickly and students need to know how to operate in all mediums because they’re combined on the Internet,” Dawson said.