85% get news on mobile device, highest ever

For the first time ever, 85 percent of Americans get their news on a mobile device, like a smart phone or iPad, according to a new survey.

In the latest death knell for print, Pew Research Center said the use of mobile devices for newsies equals that of desk top computers, but that a big 65 percent majority would rather just use their phone or tablet.

The study also said that the public is historically divided over the job the media is doing, with 87 percent of Republicans believing it’s biased.

The Pew Research Center found a an unprecedented 47 point gap between Democrats and Republicans on whether the media is a good watchdog. That is the biggest gap ever, and 19 points bigger than the previous record gap. Said its latest survey:

Roughly nine-in-ten Democrats (89%) say news media criticism keeps leaders in line (the news media’s “watchdog role”), while only about four-in-ten Republicans (42%) say the same – a 47-percentage-point gap, according to the survey, conducted online March 13-27, 2017, among 4,151 U.S. adults who are members of Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.

Most also don’t find the news provided by the media “very trustworthy.” On that score, just 11 percent of Republicans called it “very trustworthy,” and for Democrats it was 34 percent.

While the survey doesn’t give a key reason, it comes amid a huge media battle over President Trump and his administration and the fight over fake news. His attacks on the mainstream media has been adopted by millions of Americans and that anti-media wildfire likely influenced the survey.

“These findings shine a bright light on the expanding differences between Democrats and Republicans in the mindset each brings to the news of the day,” says Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew Research Center. “These are differences in both news practices and attitudes, and add to those already evident in our research about the sources turned to and trusted.”

Key findings from Pew’s release:

— Compared with 2016, Democrats and Republicans are more divided on whether the press favors one side in its political coverage. Republicans are now 34 percentage points more likely than Democrats to say the press does favor one side. In 2016, Republicans were 20 points more likely than Democrats to say so.

— Democrats, meanwhile, are now 23 points more likely than Republicans to have a lot of trust in the information they get from national news media. Democrats are also 15 points more likely than Republicans to say national news organizations are doing very well at keeping them informed.

— Americans are paying closer attention to national news now than in 2016, with that increase driven by Democrats. Overall, four-in-ten Americans report following national news very closely, up from a third the year before. Among Democrats, about half (49%) say they follow very closely, also up from a third in 2016.

— Democrats are also driving an increase in use of…

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