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Most Montanans Get Their News Online, Survey Says

A new survey shows that more Montanans are turning to the internet for news than any other source. And it says most Montana online news consumers are getting it via their smartphones.

Sixty-nine percent of Montanans said they got their news online in the prior week, compared to 57 percent who said they got it on TV. Forty percent said they got it from a newspaper.

John Baldridge with the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research oversaw the survey, which was conducted in September.

Baldridge says that when they go online, most Montanans are still accessing traditional media sources.

"They'll probably first look for their local newspaper's website, and then a local TV or radio station."

The survey was commissioned by the Greater Montana Foundation. It was done over the phone with 567 Montana adults. The top three Montana online news sources, in order, were The Billings Gazette, the Missoulian and KPAX TV. For online national news, most Montanans chose Fox, CNN and MSN in that order. 

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

A slide from a new survey showing how Montanans get national news.
Courtesy University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research /
A slide from a new survey showing how Montanans get national news.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.