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TV news in the U.S. – statistics & facts
TV news consumption
Although a universal study found that online outlets were the preferred source for news consumption in the United States, television news viewership has not been as greatly impacted by the availability of digital news as other traditional outlets. A 2022 survey revealed that the leading offline news source used in the United States was local television news, though consumption habits varied according to age.
Adults aged 65 or above proved most likely to watch cable news every day, whereas younger consumers were less inclined to do so. Network news was also a popular news source among older audiences, 41 percent of whom reported watching network news on a daily basis. This demographic continues to drive television news consumption in general, and both cable and network news play a significant role in driving discussion in the United States.
Perspectives on TV news
Trust in national and local television news fell between 2016 and 2021, though local news was still considered the more reliable source. Further data showed that network and cable news ranked among the most trusted news outlets, outperforming online-only outlets, social media, and podcasts. News audiences also turned to network and cable for what they felt to be trustworthy news on the COVID-19 outbreak. Trust is of growing importance to consumers, and as such, TV news companies must avoid aligning themselves too heavily with a political figure or movement and take care to ensure their content is accurate and unbiased.
Television news may not have gone the way of the printed newspaper, but is not infallible. Cord-cutting is on the increase and unless TV news providers make a concerted effort to remain relevant, their audiences will wane. It is possible that the future of TV news will also be online, but networks must act sooner rather than later before their viewers look elsewhere.
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