Study: Civic engagement strongly tied to local news habits

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-10-05-17-pmThe Pew Research Center has released an intriguing new study that finds local voters and those who feel attached to their communities stand out, and how they stay informed  via local news organizations plays a key role in their community life.

The study, in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation reveals that “overall, the civically engaged are indeed more likely than the less engaged to use and value local news. But two particular aspects of civic engagement stand out as most closely associated with local news habits: a strong connection to one’s community and always voting in local elections. Americans with one of these two attributes, the study finds, consistently display stronger local news habits across a range of measures: news interest, news intake (the number and types of sources they turn to) and news attitudes – their views of local news organizations. [Read more…]

Teens, kindness and cruelty on the social web

The majority of teen social media users find online social networks to be “mostly kind” spaces, yet 88% have witnessed mean or cruel behavior there.

15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on the sites.

Parents and peers serve as the most important influences and sources of advice on online safety issues.

As social media use has become pervasive in the lives of American teens, a new study by Pew finds that 69% of the teenagers who use social networking sites say their peers are mostly kind to one another on such sites. Still, 88% of these teens say they have witnessed people being mean and cruel to another person on the sites, and 15% report that they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on social network sites.

Adult social network users are less likely to say they witness or experience this type of behavior, but they still report that it is prevalent: 69% of the adults who use social networking sites say they have seen people be mean and cruel to others on those sites.

[Read more…]

Checking In on Foursquare? Study Shows Only Small Percentage of Adults Are

More than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:

28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location—that works out to 23% of all adults.

A much smaller number (5% of cell owners, equaling 4% of all adults) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones, the study shows.

9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services. That works out to 7% of all adults.

Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones—and many users do several of them. These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

“Americans are not currently all that eager to share explicitly their location on social media sites, but they are taking advantage of their phones’ geolocation capabilities in other ways,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet Project research specialist and co-author of the report. “Smartphone owners are using their phones to get fast access to location-relevant information on-the-go.”

 

The report can be found online at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Location/Overview.aspx