Word of Mouth, Internet Key for Breaking News

Even though television plays a key role in alerting and updating people about big news stories, the initial awareness often comes by word of mouth or the Internet.

After the April 16 Virginia Tech massacre, Frank N. Magid Associates polled Millennials; Gen Xers; and Baby Boomers about how they first got the news.

Television coverage was the primary source to which all three groups turned for information on the shooting spree, but nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the adult Millennials first learned about the story on the Internet, compared with 19 percent of Gen Xers and 16 percent of Baby Boomers.

About 29 percent of Millenials heard about the Virginia Tech story by word of mouth, which includes text messaging.

In fact, in all three target demos, word of mouth was the number one source of alerts to those who weren't at home.

On the other hand, 37 percent of Millennials first learned about the story from TV, as did 43 percent of Gen Xers and 50 percent of Boomers.
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