Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences

Sara Peters, Editor in Chief | 1/24/2013 | 35 comments

Sara Peters
In our last E2 poll we asked, "What is your preferred format for consuming online information that helps you do your job?" What your responses and your comments told us is that you chow down on a variety of content sources because you like a balanced diet of information.

News analysis, blogs, and feature articles are like your major food groups -- together, claiming 71 percent of the vote, they sate the bulk of the E2er's hunger for info. And, just like vegetables and grains supply you with different nutrition, you told us that these major content sources each supply you with something different -- news analysis for the facts, feature articles for the deeper dive into the details, and blogs for insights and opinions.

As for infographics, you use them like a good multivitamin -- a great way to quickly consume essential data points, but better used as a supplement than as as a primary source of information.

Social media is like your mixed buffet of snack food. There's the healthful crudité of headlines from reliable news sources. There's the occasional, surprising amuse-bouche that introduces you to a new source of unique info. And there's the irresistible spread of delectable gossip that you guiltily gobble up like a platter of pigs-in-a-blanket.

So when it comes to consuming information, it seems that you'd like to order a bit of everything on the menu. As E2 user Nemos said, "I would like to 'tick' all the possible answers, we are living in the information era so every information source is valuable for me." But since we forced you to choose just one, here's the full breakdown of your responses:

What is your preferred format for consuming online information that helps you do your job?

  • 26.32 percent -- Blogs
  • 30.70 percent -- News analysis articles
  • 14.04 percent -- Feature articles
  • 1.75 percent -- Press releases (newsfeed)
  • 4.39 percent -- Message boards
  • 8.77 percent -- Vendor information
  • 7.89 percent -- Informational graphics
  • 6.14 percent -- Social media feeds

Regardless of which content source you've chosen to make up the bulk of your information diet, thank you for making E2 one of the places you come to grub down.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
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batye   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   2/1/2013 4:27:26 PM
Re: The News, It Is a'Changin'
Curtis I could not agree more... but like everything else coin have to side of the story... once I witness high risk arrest... when suspect try to fight two police officers and try to go for the gun of the one police officers... it took them hell of the time to put handcuffs on him... if some one would be recording it on the video end of it.. it would look like police abuse... but in reality they have no choice as suspect was resisting arrest, endangering public... and I think he was under influence of some type of drugs...
Joe Stanganelli   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   2/1/2013 3:18:01 PM
Re: The News, It Is a'Changin'
I very much agree, Curt.  Indeed, who is more the journalist: The citizen who videotapes police misconduct with their iPhone, or the shiny-haired figurehead couching incomplete facts with sensationalist bias?
Susan Nunziata   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/30/2013 6:58:24 PM
Re: The News, It Is a'Changin'
@Curt: I think we're in heated agreement here. We should have standards and accountability no matter who is producing the content. 
CurtisFranklin   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/29/2013 12:53:00 AM
Re: The News, It Is a'Changin'
@Susan, each of us is only as trustworthy as our last article. I'm a member of the SPJ and in our local pro chapter we discuss this fairly often: Journalism is an act, not a job description or perpetual license. That's why I have little patience with putting labels on the people creating the articles -- I'd much rather look at the content and see wether each piece is, in fact, journalism.
CurtisFranklin   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/29/2013 12:50:33 AM
Re: Edward R. Murrow
@Susan, I like the idea of teaching basic media literacy in school. If you begin teaching this, then it's only so hard to included both generating and consuming media. I might wait until the kids are in middle school, but I think we're on the same page on the principle.
CurtisFranklin   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/29/2013 12:49:58 AM
Re: Edward R. Murrow
@Susan, I like the idea of teaching basic media literacy in school. If you begin teaching this, then it's only so hard to included both generating and consuming media. I might wait until the kids are in middle school, but I think we're on the same page on the principle.
Susan Nunziata   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/29/2013 12:41:30 AM
Re: The News, It Is a'Changin'
@Curt: it's understandable to feel that way. We were luck to grow up in an era where the "fourth estate" was actually considered a crucial pillar of democracy and seen as an admirable, ethical profession. In recent years, where some professional journalists have proven themselves untrustworthy, I guess the question for me becomes this: Who among us is really qualified to claim any superiority when it comes to trusthworthiness? Or, as Stephen Colbert likes to call it, "Truthiness." 
Susan Nunziata   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/29/2013 12:22:12 AM
Re: Edward R. Murrow
@Curt: Great idea! Responsible reporting techniques and ethics should be taught beginning in grade school, along with teaching responsible social media behavior and ethical e-communications of all kinds. 
Susan Nunziata   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/29/2013 12:16:14 AM
Re: The News, It Is a'Changin'
@sara: Excellent point. In that sense, it's really no diffeence than columnists such as the late great Jimmy Breslin who conveyed the stories of real people and cultivated connections with the community. These days, our communities are global and accessible at the click of a button. But their personal stories are no less important for how they can add to the public discourse. 
CurtisFranklin   Poll Wrap: Content Consumption Preferences   1/28/2013 1:07:09 AM
Re: Changing Methods of Communication
@Technocrat, I think one of the big issues is that the lines dividing articles from blog posts are becoming very fuzzy. Take what we do here at E2 as an example: While we tend to call them "blog posts" they're frequently written by professional journalists and each one goes through at least two layers of editing. That's as much editorial oversight as most newspaper articles get these days and more than is given to most articles on magazine-related web sites. I know "bloggers" who break news and do serious issue analysis, and I know "journalists" of whom I would question their article if they reported that the sun rose this morning.  Which of these is journalism?
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