Harris Interactive is known for its surveys on a wide range of subjects. One of the latest measures news consumption in the top 10 national markets. There are some interesting numbers and trends:
According to the study, Americans in Boston are more likely than those in any of America's other top ten markets to describe themselves as "news junkies" (with 24% so describing themselves, vs. a 10-market average of 16%); residents of the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, are second most likely to indicate this (21%), while Americans in the Los Angeles (12%) and Atlanta (13%) markets are least likely to show this level of news interest.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum, Los Angelenos are the group most likely to indicate that they are not really interested in the news (25%), while those in the New York City metro market are least likely to indicate this (8%), indicating that they are the group most likely to be at least moderately interested in the news.
Although TV is the preferred news mode when observing the 10-city average (with 45% selecting it as their preferred way to get the news), online (40% for combined computer, tablet and mobile device preference) is hot on its heels overall and ahead of TV in many markets. Preference for news in print also varies greatly by market (highest in NYC, D.C and Boston, lowest in Houston and Atlanta), though it consistently falls behind TV and online.
TV-dominant markets (markets where TV is the top response as residents' preferred way to get the news):
• Atlanta, GA (53% TV, 37% online, 7% print).
• NYC Metro, NY (49% TV, 31% online, 17% print).
• Chicago (49% TV, 36% online, 12% print).
• Philadelphia (49% TV, 38% online, 12% print).
Online-dominant markets (markets where combined online sources – computers, tablets and mobile devices — are residents' preferred way to get the news):
• San Francisco, CA (50% online, 36% TV, 9% print).
• Boston, MA (49% online, 34% TV, 15% print).
• Houston, TX (51% online, 40% TV, 5% print).
• Washington, D.C. (45% online, 36% TV, 16% print).
Markets where the TV-online battle is too close to call:
• Los Angeles, CA (44% TV, 43% online, 11% print).
• Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (45% TV, 43% online, 11% print).
A catchy headline is generally the top factor which makes residents in these markets more likely to read an online or print article (with a 10-city average of 60% citing it as having such an effect), though it shares the top spot with interesting data or research supporting the article in Houston (56% each) and is just ahead of this second factor in Boston (59% headline, 57% interesting data or research).