Internet resources are pulling up neck-and-neck to TV when it comes to the preferred source of news for Latinos in the US.
According to the Pew Research Centre, on a typical weekday, three-quarters of Latinos get their news from internet sources, nearly equal to the share who do so from television.
“For years, TV was the most commonly used platform for news among US Hispanics,” the firm said. “In recent years, however, the share getting their news from TV has declined, from 92% in 2006 to 79% in 2016. Meanwhile, 74% of Hispanics said in 2016 that they used the internet – including social media or smartphone apps – as a source of news on a typical weekday, up from 37% in 2006.”
Hispanics also consume news from radio and newspapers, but neither is as widely used as TV or the internet. About 55% of Hispanics in 2016 (the latest figures) got news from radio on a typical weekday, down from 64% in 2006 (but mostly unchanged from 2012). The use of newspapers as a news source continues its decline, falling from 58% in 2006 to 34% a decade later.
The Center also took a look at bilingualism: In 2016, Latinos primarily consumed news in English, with 83% saying they get at least some of their news in English on a typical weekday (29% only in English, and 54% in both English and Spanish). At the same time, a comparable share (71%) said they get at least some of their news in Spanish (17% only received news in Spanish, and 54% got it in both English and Spanish).
As ever, these averages vary when broken down by demographics. Millennials (those aged 18 to 35) make up more than a quarter of US Hispanic adults, a higher share than among other racial or ethnic groups. In 2016, 91% of Hispanic millennials got news from the internet on a typical weekday, making them the only generation of Hispanics for which the internet is the most widely used news platform.
Hispanic millennials also tend to use English language news sources more than older generations, with 91% in 2016 saying they get at least some of their news in English, compared with 68% who said they consume at least some of their news in Spanish.
By contrast, television remains the top source for news among older generations of Hispanics. Foreign-born Latinos, who tend to be older, also continue to rely heavily on TV for news. In 2016, 85% of foreign-born Latinos said that on a typical weekday they got their news from TV, the group’s most widely used news source. Meanwhile, two-thirds (67%) of foreign-born Latinos said they use the internet for news, a share that has increased sharply since 2006, when only 25% said they did.
Foreign-born Latinos also unsurprisingly prefer Spanish-language news sources: 89% in 2016 said they get at least some of their news in Spanish, and 70% said they get at least some of it in English.
“The landscape of news outlets has changed over the past decade as the news habits of Hispanics have shifted,” the Center said. “Univision and Telemundo, the two largest Spanish-language television networks in the US, have had viewership declines in their most popular news programmes. In addition, several news outlets that targeted Hispanics as a primary audience, often in English, have either closed or been folded into larger news organisations, including CNN Latino, NBC Latino, Fox News Latino and VOXXI.”