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Study: Reputation still big draw in news

March 20, 2012 at 1:49 AM

WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- People who get news by computer, tablet or smartphone tend to be guided by the reputation of the news source providing the information, U.S. researchers said.

The Pew Research Center, in its annual State of the News Media report, said the growing use of devices that allow easy access to news online is increasing the amount of time people spend getting news.

"A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism," the report said. "But the evidence also shows that technology companies are strengthening their grip on who profits."

Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism surveyed 3,000 adults on their news consumption. The poll found "the reputation or brand of a news organization, a very traditional idea, is the most important factor in determining where consumers go for news, and that is even truer on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops."

That tends to be a much bigger factor than recommendations from friends via Facebook or other social media in determining what people read, the researchers said.

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