In today’s digital age, where tablets and smartphones feed us a buffet of media options with just a tap of the finger, Americans have greater access to news than ever before.
A new Wakefield Research survey commissioned by Next Issue Media explores how current events can affect Americans’ lives and why the medium we choose to get the news matters.
According to the survey, Americans want to be in-the-know about current events, and most (54 percent) prefer to be known as a “newsie” among their friends, more than a sports buff, fashionista or celebrity gossip.
And a majority of Americans (56 percent) believed they were more knowledgeable about current events compared to their friends – 65 percent of men and 48 percent of women felt this way.
Owning a tablet may be one way to boost your news-confidence. Sixty-nine percent of tablet owners felt they knew more about current events than their friends, compared to 47 percent of non-tablet owners.
But are these “newsies” really telling the truth? To look well-informed, some people will go as far as lying. More than one in three (37 percent) have pretended to know about a news story to impress someone else.
Tablet owners may feel more pressure to be well-informed because of the media resources at their disposal, as 52 percent of tablet owners admitted to lying about a story to impress someone else, versus 27 percent of non-tablet owners.
Seventy percent of Americans will find any opportunity to argue with their friends about what’s in the news cycle regardless of topic. Politics was the primary subject for debate with 49 percent of survey respondents.
Sports came in second with 32 percent, followed by award show results (13 percent) and fashion trends (12 percent). Arguing aside, an overwhelming majority of Americans (94 percent) have discussed current events with their family, and 82 percent said they discuss current events topics frequently.
The survey also found that controversial current-event issues such as gun control or gay rights can impact our relationships. Sixty-two percent of respondents felt it was important that their significant other agrees with them on controversial topics.
The younger you are, the more likely you are to need someone who agrees with you. Seventy-six percent of Americans 18-24 thought it was important that their significant other agrees with them, versus 52 percent of adults ages 40-54.
A majority of employed Americans (68 percent) felt that keeping up on current events is important to their career – and their bottom line. Half of Americans (52 percent) have based important financial decisions on something they’ve read – including large purchases, such as a car (27 percent) and investments (19 percent).
When it comes to softer news, Americans’ consumption habits may not correspond with national perceptions. With a look at emotional and physical health, it might be surprising that 32 percent of men admitted to crying when they learned that a celebrity passed away.
The American male’s emotional well-being isn’t the only thing affected by the media, his physical health can also feel the effects. During an average week, most American men (58 percent) spend more time reading sports news than they do playing sports or exercising (42 percent).
The Next Issue Media Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adults, ages 18+, between May 7th and May 14th, 2013, using an email invitation and an online survey. The survey findings were released today, June 26.
Next Issue Media, the company behind Next Issue, is a joint venture formed by five leading U.S.-based publishers – Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time Inc.