Just 7% of New Jersey voters get their news from print newspapers, according to a poll released this morning from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
A third of New Jerseyans say their news comes from cable television channels like CNN, MSNBC or Fox, and 23% say they turn to online news websites. Another 14% still go to national network evening news shows. Radio ties with print newspapers at 7%.
Republicans (43%) gravitate toward cable news more than Democrats (27%) and Independents (27%), as Trump supporters over Trump critics (44 v. 26%), whites over nonwhites (35 v. 24%), and anyone ages 35 to 54 and 55 plus as compared with the 18-34 crowd (30 and 41% v. 15%).
“Two takeaways emerge from our consideration of news sources: First, opinion journalism has a far greater appeal among Republicans than Democrats across the state. And second, with almost half of Millennials (47%) reporting their preference for digital news on the Internet over other sources, it’s clear that this will continue to be where the action is when it comes to new and evolving news media platforms,” said Krista Jenkins, a professor of politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the poll director.
The poll asked New Jersey voters about specific sources of newspapers, cable news, social networks, and news on the web on an app. Most New Jerseyans could not name a specific source, but cable news watchers were more definitive, and Fox News gets the most viewers. Of those who selected cable news as their go to source, 45% identified Fox News, with fewer choosing CNN (31%) and MSNBC (17%).
Partisan differences are also clear, with most Fox News watchers identifying as Republican (92%). CNN draws strong viewership from self-identified Democrats (70%), as does MSNBC (92%). The same is true for attitudes toward President Trump. Fox News viewers heavily support President Donald Trump (98%); CNN (91%) and MSNBC (93%) attract viewers who are critical of Trump.
“The intersection of partisan politics and news is alive and well in the Garden State. Republicans and presidential backers clearly appreciate the defensive posture of Fox News. His detractors and Democrats look for news that is more critical of the president,” said Jenkins. “Polarization among voters is reinforced by news sources and news source reinforce polarization among voters.”