In a nationwide poll released by the Rand Corporation in 2020, participants were asked which news source they use the most. The results: 24 percent use broadcast media.

Americans’ most common response was broadcast television, followed closely by online sources, then cable television and social media.


Which News Source Do Americans Use the Most?

Broadcast 24%
Online 23%
Cable 19%
Social Media 16%
Radio 8%
Print 6%
In-Person 4%

Note that while broadcast was still the top vote-getter, that fell from 69 percent in 1990.


Which News Source Do Americans Think Is the Most Reliable?

Broadcast 26%
Cable 20%
Online 17%
Print 15%
Radio 10%
Social Media 6%
In-Person 6%

That’s a big change from 30 years before, when a 1990 poll from Roper showed that 69 percent of people got their news from local and national television.

The Rand Corporation poll also went into detail on each media segment broken down by age, sex, education and political persuasion.

The big takeaway: all are still viable ways to find the audience for your brand, product or service, but you really need to know the demographic makeup of who you are trying to reach before expending time and dollars on your marketing and PR efforts!