“Sam Abuelsamid, a 40-year-old Ypsilanti man, can't remember the last time he watched a television news program. He says he hasn't listened to the radio, even in the car, for more than a year.
And although he occasionally scans the newspaper, it is only for news about his community or neighborhood.
Yet Abuelsamid would bet he is better informed about current events than most.
Almost all his news comes from online sources -- more than 250 of them -- all collected and organized in a piece of software called a news aggregator that is updated throughout the day as new stories and Web log posts are filed. Instead of radio, he listens to podcasts.
"This allows me to get information from many sources in a quick, concise manner," says Abuelsamid. "It also allows me to filter my trusted and untrusted sources."
A study released Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project says Abuelsamid is in the vanguard of a revolution in the way Americans consume news and information, fueled by the rapid proliferation of high-speed Internet access.
According to the study, some 74 million people -- or 34% of all adult Americans -- now access the Internet through broadband connections.
"The growth of broadband penetration has now totally changed the way people are getting news," says John B. Horrigan, associate director for research and the author of the report that surveyed 3,011 Americans. "High-powered Internet users are clearly going to the Net for news over every other media form."
Many news sites move articles into data bases after a period of time and then offer them for sale, in the process changing the URLs that link to them. Or they require registration. Thus, we provide a link to the front page of the news website and the information necessary to find the story on that site, rather than a direct link to the article.