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Research: Most Read News By Accident

December 2, 2011 by  

Research: Most Read News By Accident

New research from the University of Missouri finds that Internet users are increasingly less likely to seek out news stories online, but more often read the news serendipitously.

The research contends that Internet users often do not make the conscious decision to read news online, but they come across news when they are searching for other information or doing non-news related activities on the Internet, such as shopping or visiting social networking sites.

Researcher Borchuluun Yadamsuren surveyed nearly 150 respondents with further interviews of 20 of those respondents to understand their incidental exposure to online news. She found that respondents experience exposure to online news in three different contexts: They come across interesting news stories while they visit online news sites; they see news stories while doing non-news related activities such as checking email and visiting Facebook and other social networking sites; and they stumble upon “unusual,” “weird,” “interesting,” “bizarre,”  “unexpected,” “outrageous” or “off-the-wall” news stories while doing Internet searches for other topics.

“Incidental exposure to online news is becoming a major way for many people to receive information about news events,” Yadamsuren said. “However, many people don’t realize how their news reading behavior is shifting to more serendipitous discovery.”

The researcher believes that the changing ways in which people discover news are also impacting what is perceived to be reliable reporting as many people now hold a much broader perception of news that goes beyond what is reported by professional journalists.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    Well, the “response” to this topic pretty much says it all. Reading, for many reasons, is no longer looked at as a worthwhile pursuit. When you have access to the internet, you don’t need a newspaper.
    Most big papers are infested with union members, so there’s no reason for me to pretend like I care much about their collective bargaining schtick.
    To me, BOOKS are where it’s at. A library is OK, up to a point. Having YOUR OWN library is best. Besides, newspapers take up so much room.
    And, when push comes to shove, my retirement takes precedence over any union crapola scam. I don’t associate with thieves or Lenin and Marx mutants. If they don’t know about Lenin and Marx and how America has been saddled with employment scams via communism, it’s not my fault. What DO union bosses tell their members about THAT topic?

    • eddie47d

      SC has a one track mind and is obsessed with turning everything into a communist conspiracy and union bashing. The article said neither but she always let’s her immagination run wild and trolls for shock value. No wonder the American people are confused and turn off anything political. Who would want to listen to her dishonest babble. I wonder if SC was baking a cherry pie she’d refuse to eat it because those cherries may have been picked by union workers. Worse yet by some gay illegal who may want higher wages so that would make him a communist.

      • s c

        e, thanks for the compliment. Kindly realize that sooner or later, one of the topics on this website with deal with the HISTORY of labor unions in America. Part of that history will deal with the real SOURCE of America’s labor unions.
        I know you’ll go into full denial mode, but it won’t do you any good. May you never change, e. May your mind remain closed, and may your friends and icons tell you what you want to hear. Relish living in interesting times, e.
        I’m not the one who has to be educated. You have gone out of your way to be beyond ignorant. Sobeit.
        When it happens (and it will), I’ll try my best not to say anything. Enjoy, e. That clock is ticking, and I couldn’t stop it if I had to stop it. Savor the flavor.

      • eddie47d

        I beg to differ that you don’t need to be educated. Do you have a room full of Internet diplomas? See you around the block.

  • JB

    Yep – most are only interested in “entertainment” babble – -
    don’t want to get involved with real issues to cope with – fantasy and fun are more important. BUT – our media is mostly to blame, for “generating/influencing” news more than “reporting” responsibly.

  • http://Boblivingston Lyle McDaniel

    You can get that trend by just listening to most conversations, When it really gets scarry is while you are standing line to vote at your election booth.

  • Buck

    I intentionally get all my news from the internet because I don’t trust any of the mainstream media , this includes FOX .

  • Bob Marshall

    If this is true this is a disgrace. The government put out the kool-aid and million continue to drink freely. one thing about million in America when they make up their mind even the best evidence won’t change their minds.9/11 is an excellent example. The government knows if they question Americas patriotism they have them where they want them. Millions of Americans need to read the warnings and quotes from our founders. Just two here. “f tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” Thomas Jefferson.” If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and will never be…if we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the duty of every citizen to be informed. Thomas Jefferson. I wonder how many in America know of the former PNAC and their plans to reshape the middle east?

    • s c

      Bob, PNAC sounds like an extension of the leadership ploy outlined in Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope. It sounds like a johnny-come-lately in the world of wannabe “elite” schemes to be a part of the MIC and ultimate kontrol of America via incompetent non-leadership [KILL FOR PEACE].
      If few readers at the PLD aren’t familiar with it, it’s not exactly a great loss. All they need to know is a) State Department 2) MIC 3) certain groups, like the CFR and 4) certain advisors who are always close to the W H [i. e., Zbig].
      You might as well assume that so many non-thinkers have been processed through public school that we’re assumed to be properly dumbed-down. Five days a week, you can get an idea as to exactly how dumed-down many people are on this website.
      Don’t take it personally, Bob. Some people read and think, and the rest don’t give a damn – especially utopian wannabes and their useful idiot icons and big tent losers.

  • bob wire

    Sure! there a large amount of serendipity with news consumption. It’s safe to say most people graze over the news.

    Myself, I find an interest and I will go on a search to know more, educate myself.

    To do otherwise, I would be “working” with focused purpose.

  • eddie47d

    I find this article to be absolutely correct. You may get one headline on the Internet each day but the rest of the news is harder to find. Few want to look deeper and are mesmerized by the entertainment aspects that cover the front page. You log on to some stories and you get a 30 second commercial. That is a turn off to me and those darn pop up ads and blinking lights. I try to stick to the newspaper with loads of information at your finger tips, also magazines,Meet The Press on Sundays and sometime during the day the local news. Although the paper is on the Net I don’t find it as enjoyable and you miss too many articles.

  • http://naver samurai

    Actually, Sook Young and I read a newspaper and watch the news everyday. It pays to know what is going on in the world around us. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • s c

      samurai, I should have prefaced my first remark above with the idea that I do enjoy reading a good foreign newspaper. Most American newspapers I can’t stomach, so unless I’m in a decent library that has a good selection of papers, I find other things to occupy my time.
      Beyond that, I want BOOKS. I want non-fiction, and most will be on economics, government, REAL history and quality biographies and autobiographies. I no longer read any fiction.

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