COLUMBIA, Mo. – June 6, 2016 –– According to the Pew Research Center, more than two thirds of U.S. adults own smart phones and more than 85 percent of millennials own the devices. As the journalism industry searches for ways to adapt to this changing technological landscape, researchers from the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), housed at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, conducted a national survey of 1,000 smartphone users to better understand how they used their devices when consuming news. 

The survey revealed that 75 percent of adults 18-44 years of age frequently use their smartphones to consume news.

Roger Fidler, program director for digital publishing at RJI (retired) and digital media expert,believes this result and others from his survey reveal important habits of smartphone users that can be valuable for news organizations. He says news organizations can use this informationto strategicallymaintain and expand their readership in a time of economic upheaval for the industry.

Here are a few of the important findings from Fidler’s survey: “Phablets” are a growing market for news organizations. More than 40 percent of smartphone owners own “phablets,” or large smartphones with screens between five and six inches that have much the same functionality of tablets such as iPads. Nearly half of phablet users reported consuming news on their devices in the previous week, as opposed to only 23 percent of regular smartphone users. Fidler says the proliferation of these large screens present news organizations with opportunities to design compelling content for those readers.

Read the full article on PoliMedia.


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