While digital and TV may be the primary news sources for most Americans, radio continues to reach a significant news audience and outpaces print, according to Pew Research Center's latest report on the state of news, information and journalism in the digital age. The results of Pew's survey, conducted last July and August, 52% of those 30-49, and 35% of adults age 18-29, say they get news often or sometimes from radio, while that number is 51% of all U.S. adults, a slight increase from 2020.
Looking at radio news consumption by demographics, the survey results also show nearly six in 10 adults 50-64 and just over half of those 65+ often or sometimes get news from radio, while the 52% of 30-49s in that category rival television news' hold on that demo, where 58% often or sometimes get news. Radio news listeners also tend to be on the higher-educated and higher-income side – 52% are at least college graduates, and 55% earn more than $80k – while these trend in the opposite direction among TV news viewers.
Although digital devices and television attract a larger percentage of U.S. adults who often or sometimes get their news from either, the silver lining for radio is its often-or-sometimes share gained ever-so-slightly from 2020, from 50% to 51%, while both digital and TV declined.
When it comes to preferred news source, it's still an uphill battle for radio, as just 7% of U.S. adults say they prefer radio for getting news, unchanged from 2020. As with use, that number is slightly higher among men, 30-64-year-olds, college educated and $80k+ income listeners.
Overall, half of Americans say they prefer a digital device for getting news, with 84% saying they often or sometimes get news from a smartphone, computer or tablet. “The transition of news from print, television and radio to digital spaces has caused huge disruptions in the traditional news industry,” Pew's report says. “It is also reflected in the ways individual Americans say they are getting their news [as] today an overwhelming majority of Americans get news at least sometimes from digital devices.”