Internet sites are now the main source of news for 26 percent of online computer users, with 35% saying their main source was TV, followed by 23% printed newspapers and 14% radio.
This was revealed by the latest biannual survey of Internet users by the Smith Institute for Tel Aviv University's Netvision Institute for Internet Research. The representative sample of 500 men and women over 18 who are online showed a 10% increase in the use of Internet-based news compared to the same time a year ago.
Using the Web for information searches and sending or receiving e-mail were the most popular uses of online computing - at 35% each as primary uses - while 16% said reading news sites was their primary use. Only 3% spend most of their online time on chat groups or ICQ, while for 3%, downloading movies and music was their main use of the Web. Reading Web logs (blogs) was the least popular activity, while fewer than half a percent used the Web primarily to listen to audio news or view TV news online and 6% used it to download or play games.
TV watching to see the news was most common among people aged 50 and over, immigrants, traditional or religious people, less-educated people and those with an average or lower-than-average income level. Those who were most likely to use Web sites as a primary site for news were under the age of 30, men, secular and with a higher socioeconomic level. Immigrants were found to use both TV and Internet for news and less radio and printed newspapers.
Ninety-five percent of those online have never written a blog, while 79% have rarely or never read blogs. Only 5% read these online diaries regularly. The Netvision Institute said it has the impression that blog use is growing very slowly in Israel and not regarded as a main use of the Internet.
Asked whether they use Internet-based telephone service (such as Skype), only 12% said they do.