The Year of the Internet / by Clarissa Leon

Will 2011 be the year when the media industry goes all web, all the time? A recent survey by the Pew Research Center finds that more and more people have turned to the web for news. Is this all that surprising?

Let's look at the numbers. 

41 percent say they get most of their news about national and international news from the internet, which is little changed over the past two years but up 17 points since 2007.

Although the survey cites that television remains the biggest source for national and international news (66 percent) television's popularity has kept dropping. 

(TV) is down from 74% three years ago and 82% as recently as 2002.

But in the case of people younger than 30, the internet has finally taken television over. The 2010 year marked the first time the internet beat out television as the main source of national and international news for people younger than 30.

Pew Research Center. Dec 1-5 2010. Figures add to more than 100 percent because respondents could volunteer up to two main sources.

Since 2007, the internet as a main source for those under 30 went from 34 percent to a whopping 65 percent—nearly double from three years ago. Likewise, television as a main source dropped from 68 percent to 52 percent. 

Predictions?

Among those 30 to 49, the internet is on track to equal, or perhaps surpass, television as the main source of national and international news within the next few years. Currently, 48% say the internet is their main source – up 16 points from 2007 – and 63 percent cite television – down eight points.

Is anybody really surprised? This year it will become even more apparent that the internet can become print, television and radio all in one. It's time to look past what's obvious and move to what's not so obvious—a business model to rebuild the journalism industry and move it forward.