Internet most popular information source: poll

NEW YORK Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:02pm EDT

A generic picture of a woman working in an office sitting at her desk typing on a computer. REUTERS/Catherine Benson

A generic picture of a woman working in an office sitting at her desk typing on a computer.

Credit: Reuters/Catherine Benson

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Internet is by far the most popular source of information and the preferred choice for news ahead of television, newspapers and radio, according to a new poll in the United States.

But just a small fraction of U.S. adults considered social websites such as Facebook and MySpace as a good source of news and even fewer would opt for Twitter.

More than half of the people questioned in the Zogby Interactive survey said they would select the Internet if they had to choose only one source of news, followed by 21 percent for television and 10 percent for both newspapers and radio.

Only 10 percent described social websites as an important for news, and despite the media buzz about Twitter, only 4 percent would go to it for information.

The Internet was also selected as the most reliable source of news by nearly 40 percent of adults, compared to 17 percent who opted for television and 16 percent who selected newspapers and 13 percent for listened to the radio.

"The poll reinforces the idea that efforts by established newspapers, television and radio news outlets to push their consumers to their respective websites is working," Zogby said in a statement.

Almost half of 3,030 adults questioned in the online survey said national newspaper websites were important to them, followed by 43 percent who preferred television websites.

Blogs were less of a necessity than websites with only 28 percent of those polled saying blogs that shared their political viewpoint were important.

"That the websites of traditional news outlets are seen by a wide margin as more important than blog sites - most of which are repositories of opinion devoid of actual reportage - could be seen as an encouraging development for the media at large," Zogby added.

When asked to peer into the future, an overwhelming 82 percent said the Internet would be the main source of information in five years time, compared to 13 for television and 0.5 percent chose newspapers.

About 84 percent of American have access to the Internet, according to industry studies.

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