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Talk radio host Lars Larson
2.13.04
Politics and Economy:
Talk Radio
More on This Story:
Overview

One in four Americans get some of their daily news from talk radio. Despite the popular notion of liberal bias in media, the biggest names on the radio airwaves are unabashedly conservative. This isn't news. One name looms large in the history of talk radio in America. So large that when the Annenberg Public Policy Center published an early study on the talk radio phenomenon in 1986, the study's respondents were divided into four categories: Limbaugh, Conservatives, Moderates and Liberals. Industry publication TALKERS magazine released the results of a "13-year, non-scientific study" of listeners of talk radio in 2003. Thirty-seven percent of respondents identified themselves as either Ultra Conservative or Conservative. An additional 23 percent labled themselves as Moderate/Fiscal Conservatives. The 1986 Annenberg study also showed that Talk Radio listeners were more likely to consume other sources of news than those who didn't listen to talk radio.

News trends are changing. A recent poll showed that an increasing percentage of younger Americans get their news from late night television. And a December 2002 Gallup Poll showed the percentage of Americans who say they get their news from talk radio has nearly doubled since 1995, from 12 percent to 22 percent. Find out more about where America is getting its news below.

Daily and Weekly Sources of News

% who get news every day from nightly network news (ABC, CBS, NBC)
Aug. 1995:
Dec. 2002

 62%
 43%
% who get news every day from local newspapers
Aug. 1995:
Dec. 2002:

 50%
 47%
% who get news every day from cable news networks (CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.)
Aug. 1995:
Dec. 2002:

 23%
 41%
% who get news every day from talk radio
Aug. 1995:
Dec. 2002:
 12%
 22%
% who get news every day from the Internet
Aug. 1995:
Dec. 2002:
 3%
 15%
% who get news every day from nightly network news (ABC, CBS, NBC)
Republicans:
Democrats:

 40%
 47%
% who get news every day from local television news
Republicans:
Democrats:
 56%
 64%
% who get news every day from public television news
Republicans:
Democrats:

 31%
 42%
% who get news every day from radio talk shows
Republicans:
Democrats:
 29%
 15%

Source for statistics: How Americans Get Their News, Gallup Poll, December 31, 2002.

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