OLD Media Moves

Consumers do want to understand the economy

January 27, 2006

And they use the media to try to get as much information about what is happening in the economy, according to this report from the Heartland Institute.

Larry Scholar, writing in Budget & Tax News, a Heartland publication, states that a study has shown that consumer “knowledge, however, varies depending on the source they use for information. The small number who consider magazines to be their primary source of information are best informed.”

The same effect is not seen with TV watchers. Scholar wrote, “Television, by far the most popular conduit for those seeking economic knowledge, leaves its viewers with below-average knowledge. But television viewers outperform those who turn to political leaders, friends, relatives, or civic or religious leaders as their primary source of information, according to Blinder and Krueger.

“Nearly half of Americans turn to television as their most important source of information about economics, and more of those individuals are watching cable stations than network stations, according to Blinder and Krueger.

“Newspapers are the next greatest source of economic information, with about 19 percent of Americans regarding them as their most important source. Of this 19 percent, more than half turn to local newspapers for economic issues, while about a quarter rely on national newspapers such as The New York Times, Washington Post, or Wall Street Journal.”

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