Research: People Aren’t Using Mainstream Sources To Get Information

Scientists Blogging
Many people are looking at blogs for information. Even scientists are reading blogs.

Where do you get your information?

According to new a new paper (Brossard, 2013) that examined the state of scientific information, people are going online to find information and they’re not using mainstream sources to get that information.

It’s long been speculated that more people are going online to get information, but a series of studies have been carried out over the last few years that now show that people are actually looking to different and new sources for news and information.

Even scientists with high degrees of requirements for their sources are finding sources like blogs and social media relevant for getting the latest news.

TV probably isn’t going anywhere soon, but there is change taking place.

Among respondents citing the Internet as their primary source of information about distinct scientific topics (60%), almost half (48%) reported relying on online sources other than journalistic ones to do so. In other words, these individuals relied on blogs, social networks, Internet search tools, and other nonjournalistic online sources to find out more about science.


American lay audiences are increasingly using Internet sources outside of mainstream journalistic channels for science-related information. Although still scant, data suggest that scientists themselves are starting to rely on these alternative channels to stay up-to-date with scientific developments in their own field or others. One in five American neuroscientists in 2010, for instance, reported using blogs to follow news about scientific issues whereas one in four physicians used social media one or more times a day to stay up-to-date on medical information and innovations.

Everybody is looking outside the traditional sources (print and broadcast media) to get their information. This paper addresses different ways scientists can share their information with the public and it found that even scientists are getting their information from online sources such as blogs.

New Sources Of Information

The Internet has opened up the way people can get access to information. Blogs have been ridiculed in the past for being different than traditional media, but that was where blogs filled a need that wasn’t be served before.

People are looking for news, but they’re also looking for help figuring out how to interpret the news.

Blogs allow sources of information to provide opinion and understanding as well as reporting the news.

More people are also using the Internet because it’s what we’re used to using today to gain information. With any change in channel there is always a change in the sources of information.

The younger generations are more trusting of sources like blogs to get information. The bad blogs are weeded out by readers and publicly ridiculed in comment sections and on social media while the better ones get shared with readers and their friends.

The Blogging Opportunity

If you’re in an industry where news and opinion are shared through traditional media then you may have an opportunity to become the thought leader by starting a business blog.

Even scientists are starting to get their information online from blogs and social networks.

The change is happening.

Some companies will be able to make the switch, but many won’t find it easy. You can take advantage of the shift and earn more customers by giving them the information they seek.

Image: NASA

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