News Outlets Gain as Hispanics Turn to English Media

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The Hispanic population in the United States is growing much faster than the formerly dominant white, non-Latin one. That may have been a threat to traditional media outlets. However, it turns out that Hispanics have turned increasingly to English-based news.

Data from a new Pew Research Hispanic Center study should worry Univision, a lot. And it should hearten traditional cable and broadcast news outlets like CNN and Fox News. Data from the survey show:

The rise in use of English news sources has been driven by an increase in the share of Hispanics who say they get their news exclusively in English. According to the survey, one-third (32%) of Hispanic adults in 2012 did this, up from 22% in 2006. By contrast, the share of Hispanic adults who get their news exclusively in Spanish has decreased to 18% in 2012 from 22% in 2006.

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As the Hispanic population grows, oddly so does the extent to which the rising number of people in this demographic turn to incumbent news outlets, which should be concerned that their audiences will fall as a result of the availability of Spanish-language reporting.

Traditional news outlets have lost much of their audiences to the Internet. For these old-world media, there is also some portion of good news, if Hispanic consumption of traditional news holds as people migrate to the Internet. And newspapers take a beating, as has been the case with the medium for some time, regardless of reader group:

  • Fully 86% of Latino adults say that on a typical weekday they get their news from television. That is down slightly from 92% who said the same in 2006 but is higher than the share of Latinos who get their news from radio (56%), the internet (56%) or print newspapers (42%).
  • Use of internet news media has grown among Latino adults. Today more than half (56%) say they consume news media on a typical weekday from the internet, up from 37% in 2006.
  • Radio news media and print newspapers have seen the biggest declines in use among Latino adults. Use of radio is down from 64% in 2006 to 56% in 2012. Use of print newspapers is down even more sharply, from 58% in 2006 to 42% in 2012.

Traditional TV news has not had much positive to say about its future. The Pew data changes that.

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