Skip to Content
Resource Articles //

Where Do Americans Turn for News?

Learn how to reach a target audience by earning a BS in Communication degree online.

At home or on the go, a majority of American adults say they often or sometimes rely on digital devices to deliver their news.1

This is one of the top-line findings from the Pew Research Center, which regularly measures where and how U.S. consumers are getting their news. This research, which communications majors may find useful in their studies, can also help communications professionals more successfully amplify and deliver their messages.

“The portion [of Americans] who gets news from digital devices continues to outpace those who get news from television,” Pew says. “Americans turn to radio and print publications for news far less frequently than to digital devices and television.”1


According to the research, 84% of Americans often or sometimes get news on a smartphone, computer, or tablet; 68% on television; 51% on radio; and 34% in print publications. When they consult those digital devices for news, 66% of American adults often or sometimes go to news websites or apps, 63% use search, 48% rely on social media, and 23% listen to podcasts.1

Professionals working in digital communications, social media communications, and other fields may find more news they can use among the Pew findings. “News consumption across platforms varies by factors such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, and educational attainment,” Pew says.1

Here’s some of what the researchers found:1

  • 29% of people ages 18–29 use social media as a news source, which is more than any other age group. In addition, 20% use news websites or apps, 19% search, and 9% podcasts. Podcasts were most popular with this age group.
  • Adults with college degrees overwhelmingly prefer news websites or apps (37%) to social media (8%), search (10%), and podcasts (5%).
  • The differences in platform preference by party affiliation are minor. Republicans, Democrats, and adults leaning toward either party prefer news websites or apps—25% for both groups. For the Democrats, the breakdown between other platforms is: social media, 13%; search, 10%; and podcasts, 4%. For Republicans: social media, 8%; search, 12%; and podcasts, 4%.
  • More women than men use social media as a news source: 12% vs. 8%. Men had a slightly stronger preference for news websites or apps: 28% vs. 21%.

Refining Communication Skills

As the number of communication channels continues to grow, knowing how to successfully develop and deploy a message grows more complex. Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in communications can help you develop the skills you need to excel in the field.

In Walden University’s online BS in Communication degree program, you’ll learn about message creation and delivery. You’ll learn how to develop in-demand active listening skills that let you receive, process, and respond to communication delivered through a variety of channels. This online communications degree program also gives you the opportunity to build your public speaking skills and learn techniques to strengthen business relationships through effective communication in the workplace.

With a BS in Communication degree, you may choose to build your career in fields such as business, marketing, advertising, and public relations. Your online education may help prepare you for jobs in social media communications, business communications, global communications, or organizational communications, to name just a few potential options.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook2 can be a good source for researching communications career options. For example, according to the BLS, employment for PR specialists is projected to grow by 11% from 2020–2030, which is faster than average.3

As a communications major at Walden, you’ll find flexibility and support for working professionals like you who want to pursue a college education without leaving their jobs. With Walden’s online learning platform, you set your own schedule, logging in when and where it’s most convenient for you.

Earning a college degree online can be life-changing. And with the knowledge and enhanced skills you gain from your online degree program, you can help change your corner of the career world by crafting professional and effective communications.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online BS in Communication degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,