It's Pages over Pundits for Political News; Newspaper Tops Survey

Article excerpt

Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Political insiders turn to the old standby for updates, even in the age of blogs and cable news.

The traditional newspaper is the most popular "destination for political news," according to "The State of the News Media 2007," a 700-page report released yesterday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

"People who love to follow the news, especially those who love politics, prefer newspapers over every other medium. Two-thirds (66 percent) of those who follow political news closely" get information regularly from newspapers, the analysis said, calling political junkies a "strategic advantage" for papers.

Indeed, newspapers bested broadcast networks (used regularly by 46 percent), Fox News (42 percent), CNN (36 percent), NPR (28 percent) and Rush Limbaugh (10 percent).

The report deemed political junkies as "a logical base for the newspaper's future."

Among respondents who said newspapers were declining in credibility, 28 percent blamed liberal bias - up from 19 percent in 1996.

Though regular newspaper readership has dropped 20 percent since 1992, there are still plenty of fans: 124 million Americans continue to peruse 1,452 newspapers nationwide, according to the Newspapers Association of America. When online and print readers are combined, the group found that the total newspaper audience actually rose by 8 percent last year. Meanwhile, 40 percent said their newspaper has improved in the last five years, crediting greater depth of coverage, a broader range of topics and better design. …