July 15, 1990

The American Media: Who Reads, Who Watches, Who Listens, Who Cares

Report Summary

At the beginning of each month the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press conducts a nationwide survey to monitor public attentiveness to the major news events of the preceding four weeks.   The survey measures how closely the public follows top national and international news stories, obtains public reaction to the media coverage of these stories and attempts to find out how well informed the public is about the people and events that have made news during the month.

Since the survey is a continuing one, waves of interviewing can be combined to produce large data sets for special analyses that address important questions about how the public reacts to news.

The is a report on one such analysis designed to examine the correspondence between what the public follows, and what types of news media the public uses.   More specifically, an extensive tabular analysis is presented showing the relationship between media use and how attentive the public is to major news stories and the level of public information about news events.

This analysis is based on 4,890 telephone interviews conducted January-April 1990.  Copies of the questionnaires may be found at the back of this report.