A collage of words related to social and traditional media.

Web, social media, blogs, TV, radio and print are just some of the news sources available to today’s business students. Studies show that students rely on digital media, including social networks, yet traditional journalism sources are not dead. Image from Pixabay.

Today’s economy is constantly changing, and there is an unprecedented array of news sources available to monitor developments. What news sources capture the attention of business students? What sources provide the most accurate and dependable content?

Business students have to digest a lot of news to stay abreast of the latest developments in the global economy: the latest trends in marketing, the performance of the stock market, the newest revolutions in information technology, and, of course, keeping up with the top memes and Snapchat stories.

Meeting the challenge are a dizzying array of news sources, including the digital and traditional content of media giants such as CNN or The New York Times, trade publications and Web 2.0 content, such as social media and blogs, which according to Technorati account for several million posts daily.

News Habits of Marketing Students

To better understand the media habits of business students, the education consulting firm Southwark Consulting surveyed 130 marketing students at the University of Delaware in 2014. Not surprisingly, they found that mobile devices are the most commonly accessed Internet-enabled devices.


Eyeglasses set atop newspapers and crossword puzzles.

Image from Pixabay

The print editions of major local and national newspapers, including the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, are available to Cal State Fullerton students for free at various locations around campus each Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters.

Newspapers are available in Mihaylo College on the east first-floor hallway.

When asked how they primarily consumed news, 58% of these students relied on mobile devices, 26% accessed the internet through computers and only 15% used traditional television. Examining the particular news sources online, 70% used social media feeds as their primary source; 23% frequented a particular news site; and only 8.5% used a news aggregator.

A Wider View of Today’s Students

A 2013 study by Howell Communications, a Boston-based public relations firm, interviewed more than 300 students of all majors in Massachusetts.

While a majority of students said that they had little interest in the news, 43% were avid news watchers, devoting one hour or more of each day to following news developments. Online sources predominated, and nearly 80% of respondents reported using the websites of major news sources, such as the websites of local newspapers and national networks. A majority also used social media.

While it’s clear that younger people are increasingly relying on digital media to stay informed, television and print media aren’t dead, according to the Howell study in Massachusetts. A majority of students use both digital and traditional sources at least some of the time. Radio seems to be the biggest casualty of the media revolution. Despite long commute times and a plethora of 24/7 news radio stations, 59% of students reported that they never turned to radio for their news.

Knowing Where to Get Your News

With so many news sources, you would think that people today would have an unprecedented amount of accurate knowledge about their world. But inaccuracy is a major problem with today’s media. One study found that 22% of the claims made on CNN were partly or completely false. That figure rises to 45% for NBC and MSNBC and 58% for the Fox News channel.

While no news source is accurate 100% of the time, sources that don’t rely on breaking news coverage, such as academic journals or many industry-specific news sites, tend to be more accurate. Even with these sources, it is always best to double-check any claims with other sources.

A look up from the lobby of the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The CNN Center in Atlanta, Ga., is a major tourist attraction as well as the source of one of the world’s largest traditional and digital news networks. While the most accurate of the three major cable networks, it is still partly or fully inaccurate a fifth of the time. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Future of News Media

What will the news media be like in 10 years? The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), one of the world’s leading news sources, released a report last year examining the future of traditional networks, which will have to continue to reinvent themselves for new media. It envisions a world in which the internet of things embeds the news into automobiles, household devices and other smart devices in an ever more globalized world.

Social networks and aggregate sites are likely to be the greatest beneficiary of emerging technologies. While only 11% of Americans were on Snapchat in 2015, the figure is rising rapidly, with 60% of its users between the ages of 18 and 34 and a significant percentage in their teens. In its Discover section, the ephemeral messaging app provides links to content from traditional and emerging news outlets in short videos and graphics designed to appeal to a generation who has never been offline.

Where Do You Get Your News?

We would love to know where Mihaylo students get their news. Do you use Facebook or cable TV? Do you listen to Rush Limbaugh or John Oliver? We welcome your comments and what media sources you reference to learn about your world.

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