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The Impact of Laptop Computers, Cell Phones, Mobile Devices, Wireless Access, and Gender Differences on College Students...

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042225/00001

Material Information

Title: The Impact of Laptop Computers, Cell Phones, Mobile Devices, Wireless Access, and Gender Differences on College Students' Use of Online Sources and Legacy Media to Read News and Find News Information
Physical Description: 1 online resource (111 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Madsen, Paige
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cell, college, desktop, gender, internet, laptop, mobile, news, online, wireless
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This survey of undergraduate mass communications students examined the impact of devices such as laptops, desktops, web-enabled cell phones, other web-enabled mobile devices, and gender differences on the students? use of media to read news and find news information. The study found that among participants, print newspapers, online news portals, print newspaper websites, and friends were the most cited sources of breaking news information, and students reported wanting depth and accuracy from their news sources. Students reported using laptops more than five days a week and web-enabled cell phones nearly two days a week to access news information online. The study found very little difference in the way that men and women reported using news sources online, their comfort with online sources, or their feelings toward online news.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Paige Madsen.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Dodd, Julie E.
Local: Co-adviser: Robinson, Judith Lynn.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0042225:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042225/00001

Material Information

Title: The Impact of Laptop Computers, Cell Phones, Mobile Devices, Wireless Access, and Gender Differences on College Students' Use of Online Sources and Legacy Media to Read News and Find News Information
Physical Description: 1 online resource (111 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Madsen, Paige
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cell, college, desktop, gender, internet, laptop, mobile, news, online, wireless
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This survey of undergraduate mass communications students examined the impact of devices such as laptops, desktops, web-enabled cell phones, other web-enabled mobile devices, and gender differences on the students? use of media to read news and find news information. The study found that among participants, print newspapers, online news portals, print newspaper websites, and friends were the most cited sources of breaking news information, and students reported wanting depth and accuracy from their news sources. Students reported using laptops more than five days a week and web-enabled cell phones nearly two days a week to access news information online. The study found very little difference in the way that men and women reported using news sources online, their comfort with online sources, or their feelings toward online news.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Paige Madsen.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Dodd, Julie E.
Local: Co-adviser: Robinson, Judith Lynn.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0042225:00001


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THE IMPACT OF LAPTOP COMPUTERS, CELL PHONES, MOBILE DEVICES,
WIRELESS ACCESS, AND GENDER DIFFERENCES ON COLLEGE STUDENTS'
USE OF ONLINE SOURCES AND LEGACY MEDIA TO READ NEWS AND FIND
NEWS INFORMATION
















By

PAIGE RENEE MADSEN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010

































2010 Paige Renee Madsen





















This is dedicated to my parents, Bob and Zoe, who taught me the value of hard work,
education, and those Midwest, Madsen ethics. Behind my every accomplishment are
their love, support and encouragement. I've been blessed to be a part of the family they
built.

In addition, I dedicate this to my friend Katie, who inspired me with her adventures in
education and her endless encouragement to pursue my own.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank my committee: Dr. Julie E. Dodd, Dr. Judy Robinson, and Dr. Norm Lewis.

Without their guidance and encouragement, I wouldn't have been able to complete this

research. The opportunities and direction they've provided me have made my master's

work possible.

Thanks go to my family: Clint, Carl, Bridget, Korrin, Abi, Tanner, Hannah, Faith,

and Beth Madsen. Their love and kindness have held me up during these last few

years, and I am endlessly appreciative.

I also owe thanks to Maura Pedersen. In the six years I've known her, she's been

a coworker, a sounding board, a cheerleader, a welcome distraction, and a dear, dear

friend.

I thank Kara and the rest of my cohort. Accomplishing this goal alongside them

made reaching it even sweeter.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W LE D G M E N T S ............................. ................................... ............... .... 4

LIST O F TA B LE S ................................................................................................. 7

LIST O F F IG U R E S .................................................... 8

ABSTRACT .............. .......... .......... ............. 9

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N .................................................................................................... 1 0

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ............. .. ............... 14

M illennials ..................................................................................... ................. 15
News Consumption....................... ........ 18
Seeking News Online ................................................... 21
Accessing Online Content .................................................................................. 26
Complementing Traditional Media ............................ ......... .... .. ........... 30
Gender............................................. ............... 31
M obile New s C onsum ption ................................. ......... ...... ......... ............... 33
Uses and Gratifications.......................................... ............... 34
Diffusion of Innovations.......................................... ............... 35

3 METHODOLOGY ............................................................. ............... 39

R liability and V validity ...................................................................................... 39
Measures and Instrument ..................................................... 43
S ce n a rio s ................ ................................................................. ... .......... 4 3
N ew s C ontent............................... ............... 44
Internet Connection ..................................................... 45
O nline New s C ontent ........................ ........ ......... ...... ......................... 46
S u rv e y ........................ .................. ............................................................ 4 7
Lim itations...................... ................ ... .. .................. 47

4 FINDINGS..................... ...................... ............... 50

D em graphics ........................................ ... 51
Scenarios.................... ................ .................... 51
N ew s C o nte nt ............... .. ................................................................. ... .......... 6 1
Use of Devices to Access News ...................................... ...... .............. 63
Speed of Internet Connection ...................................... .... .............. .......... 65
Feelings about Online News ................................................. 65









5 D IS C U S S IO N ............... 6...............................................8

News Sources.................................................. .......... 68
Device Use and Accessing News Online.................................. ....................... 70
G ender and N ew s O nline.................................................................... ......... 71
Qualities of Online News.............................................. ............... 74
Internet C onnection.............................. ............... 75
Future Research ................ ......... ........ ..... ........ 76

APPENDIX

A: SURVEY INSTRUMENT............................ ............... 78

B: VARIABLE DEFINITIONS.. ......... ............................. 85

C: FREQUENCY TABLES.............................. ............... 93

LIST OF REFERENCES ......................... ......... ......... 105

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................... ........ ............... 111
































6









LIST OF TABLES

Table page

4-1 Online sources and likelihood to access................................... 62

4-2 Device used in accessing news content online........................ ........... .. 64









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

4-1 Scenario 1 News Source by Gender ............................ .......... 54

4-2 Scenario 2 News Source by Gender ............................ .......... 57

4-3 Scenario 3 News Source by Gender ............................ .......... 60

4-4 Likelihood of Using Each Source in a Typical Week, by Gender..................... 63

4-5 Internet News Access by Device, Gender ................................................. 65









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication

THE IMPACT OF LAPTOP COMPUTERS, CELL PHONES, MOBILE DEVICES,
WIRELESS ACCESS, AND GENDER DIFFERENCES ON COLLEGE STUDENTS'
USE OF ONLINE SOURCES AND LEGACY MEDIA TO READ NEWS AND FIND
NEWS INFORMATION


By

Paige Renee Madsen

August 2010

Chair: Julie E. Dodd
Cochair: Judy Robinson
Major: Mass Communication

This survey of undergraduate mass communications students examined the

impact of devices such as laptops, desktops, web-enabled cell phones, other web-

enabled mobile devices, and gender differences on the students' use of media to read

news and find news information. The study found that among participants, print

newspapers, online news portals, print newspaper websites, and friends were the most

cited sources of breaking news information, and students reported wanting depth and

accuracy from their news sources. Students reported using laptops more than five days

a week and web-enabled cell phones nearly two days a week to access news

information online. The study found very little difference in the way that men and

women reported using news sources online, their comfort with online sources, or their

feelings toward online news.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


In the digital age, some legacy media1 were concerned about the possible threat

posed by the internet to their operations (Francisco, 2006). Newspaper circulation was

decreasing, and the readership of online news sources was increasing. As newspapers

increased their use of online content to supplement or replace the print editions, readers

had also moved online. While the percentage of people reading newspapers daily

began decreasing in the 1940s, the increase in population helped to increase circulation

until the 1970s when the population increases leveled off. In 1990, circulation reached

a high of more than 60 million papers each day and then began a decline of more than

31% (Pew, 2004; Pew, 2010).

The first decade of the 21st century saw extensive changes in the newspaper

industry. In December 2008, the parent company for the Chicago Tribune, the Tribune

Co., filed for bankruptcy. In February 2009, The Rocky Mountain News, Colorado's

oldest newspaper, closed after nearly 150 years of publication. The Seattle Post-

Intelligencer, another publication with a nearly 150-year publication history, moved to an

online-only operation in March 2009. The Boston Globe, New England's largest

newspaper, was forced to go through massive budget cuts in the summer of 2009 to

avoid being closed entirely by its parent company, The New York Times. The Ann

Arbor News printed its last ink-and-paper edition after 174 years of publication in July

2009. Newsrooms across the country cut budgets and staffs in an effort to keep the




1 Also known as "old media," media such as newspapers and television that
existed before the internet was used for public news consumption









doors open and the presses running. In 2008, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

predicted that jobs for reporters and correspondents would continue to decease another

4.700 jobs (8%) before 2018 (BLS, 2010).

While newspaper circulation declined over 30 years, the decline accelerated in

the first quarter of 2009. In April 2009, circulations were down another 7%, but online

readership had increased more than 10% (Arango, 2009). The web offered an

opportunity for some publications which would have otherwise closed entirely to keep

publishing in a paperless, digital format. Beginning in March 2007, Newspaper Death

Watch2 kept a list of the former print dailies that moved to a decreased print edition with

an online component or to an online-only publication: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Capital

Times, Detroit News/Detroit Free Press, Christian Science Monitor, East Valley Tribune,

and Ann Arbor News, among others.

Since the 1990s, newspaper organizations have tried to create a new business

model for the written word in a society where reproducing it is free and easy. Shirky

(2009) compared the state of journalism in 2009 to the upheaval caused by the

invention of the printing press in the 15th century. He wrote that in the midst of a chaotic

revolution, it is hard to predict what could ever replace the old system.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project study conducted in early

2010, 61% of Americans get some kind of news online on the typical day (Purcell et al.,








2 http://www.newspaperdeathwatch.com/









2010), an increase from 23% four years earlier3 (Horrigan, 2006). More than 90% of

Pew's respondents got their news from multiple media platforms instead of a single

media source, with more than 50% getting news from four to six media platforms in the

typical day. Fifty-nine percent got their news from a combination of online and offline

sources (Purcell et al., 2010).

In 2010, the way that Americans were accessing information, including news,

online was changing. Only 14% of American adults considered themselves dedicated

users of wireline, desktop-type, access to online information (Horrigan, 2009). The

introduction of widespread wireless internet access and mobile devices, such as web-

enabled cell phones, with access to the internet were expected to change the media

landscape even further. Increasingly, cell phones and other mobile devices, such as

the iPod Touch and Amazon's Kindle reading device, could be used to access content

online. In 2009, Pew (Rainie, 2009) reported that 29% of cell phone users have

obtained some kind of news content using their cell phones. Since the release of Kindle

in late 2007, Amazon offered online subscriptions to dozens of newspapers to be

accessed on their Kindle wireless reading device. In January 2010, Apple announced

their new iPad tablet device as competition to the Kindle and other e-book readers.

Like the Kindle, the iPad would also offer newspaper subscriptions, and media

organizations were scrambling to develop content that could be used on the iPad.








3 Pew changed the wording of the question from asking how respondents got their
news "yesterday" in 2006 to asking how they got their news on a "typical day" in 2010.









The college-age population was of special interest to researchers of media

consumption. College students enrolled in 2009 and 2010 were members of a

generation (born between the years 1982 and 2001) that boasted many names:

Millennials, Generation Y, the Next generation, or the Net generation (Strauss and

Howe, 2000). They had barely known a time without robust access to the internet, and

therefore, the way they used and accessed the internet was of special import to

researchers.

This study examined the way that college students accessed news content, the

sources they accessed, the devices they used, and the differences in the ways that

students of different genders accessed content.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

With the changes in newspaper circulation, web readership, and the advent of

new mobile devices used to access the internet, the literature on online news content

and news consumption has expanded rapidly. This review of literature examined

several facets that affected the way that college students used online content, the

internet, and mobile devices.

Much of the most recent and most comprehensive information from 1999 to 2010

about young people and the internet has come from The Pew Internet and American

Life Project, created in 1999 by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust. The Project's

mission was to examine various aspects of online life, including basic online activities

and social media. Since its first published survey results in 2000, the project expanded

to include surveys about new technology use, including cell phone use, broadband

internet connections, online news consumption, technology trends, blogging, social

networking, and the future of the internet, among other topics. The Pew Center offered

some of the most comprehensive information about online activity, and results from its

surveys were included throughout this review of literature. This literature review

included nine Pew studies, conducted between January 2005 and March 2010:

Rainie, L. How the internet has woven itself into American life, January 2005
Fallows, Deborah. How women and men use the internet, December 2005
Horrigan, John B. Online News: For many home broadband users, the internet is
a primary news source, March 22, 2006
Horrigan, John B. The mobile difference, March 2009
Smith, Aaron. The Internet as a Diversion, September 2009
Rainie, L. Internet, broadband and cell phone statistics, January 2010
Taylor, P. & Keeter, S. Millennials: A portrait of generation next, February 2010
Purcell, K., Rainie, L., Mitchell, A., Rosenstiel, T., Olmstead, K. Understanding
the participatory news consumer, March 2010
Rainie, L. The new news audience [PDF document], November 2009










Millennials

Strauss and Howe (2000) introduced the term Millennials to describe people born

between 1982 and 2001. In their 2010 study of generational technology use, Taylor and

Keeter (2010) looked Millennials over the age of 18, those in Generation X between the

ages of 30 and 45, Baby Boomers between the ages of 46 and 64, and those in the

Silent Generation older than 65. These generational terms and definitions were used

throughout this paper.

Strauss and Howe (2000) identified key characteristics of the Millennial

generation. Millennials valued the group over individual interests, felt close and spent a

lot of time with their parents, valued intelligence and were motivated by grades, were

racially diverse, and were interested in new technologies. Taylor and Keeter (2010)

found that Millennials took pride in their techno-savvy and cited their "technology use"

as the principal reason that their generation was unique compared to other generations.

While access to computers and the internet was based, to a large degree, on

socio-economic factors, Millennials made up a generation had unprecedented access to

and experience with computers and the internet. When traditional dial-up internet

service providers like America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy began offering

internet access in 1995, the youngest Millennials weren't yet born. More so than any

older generation, the young people of the Millennial generation were forerunners in the

use of new technologies they are "digital natives" (Prensky, 2001) and members of the

"first internet generation" (Diddi & LaRose, 2006).

Researchers compiled a comprehensive portrait of the Millennials. The Pew

Research Center (Taylor & Keeter, 2010) surveyed 2,020 American adults (over the age









of 18) via cell phone and landline in January 2010 to develop a profile of the

characteristics of this young generation. Because many of the members of this

generation were still under the age of 18 in 2010, the findings included only information

about those Millennials who were over the age of 18 at the time the survey was

conducted.

Taylor & Keeter (2010) found that Millennials outpaced older generations in their

use of social media, wireless internet connections, and cell phones. Seventy-five

percent of Millennials said they'd created a profile on a social networking site, compared

to 50% of Gen-Xers, 30% of Boomers, and 6% of the Silent Generation. Sixty-two

percent of Millennials had connected to the internet wirelessly when away from home -

significantly more than the 48% of Gen-Xers, 35% of Boomers, and 11% of the Silent

Generation who used wireless internet when away from home. Nearly 90% of

Millennials used their cell phones to send text messages (Mdn=20 texts in the previous

24 hours). Seventy-seven percent of Gen-Xers sent texts (Mdn=12), 51% of Boomers

sent texts (Mdn=5), and 9% of the Silent Generation sent texts (too few to count) in the

previous 24 hours.

As with every generation, Millennials were not without their differences, even

within the generation. Those between the ages of 18 and 29 who had attended college

were more likely to "be online, use social networking sites, watch and post video online,

connect to the internet wirelessly, and send and receive text messages" (p. 25).

Younger Millennials, those under 25, were found to be heavier users of social

networking sites and text messaging than Millennials older than 24 (Taylor & Keeter,

2010).









Taylor and Keeter (2010) found that the majority of Millennials considered the

effects of technology to be positive. Seventy-four percent said that technology made

their lives easier, compared to 64% of all respondents. Gen-Xers (69%), Boomers

(60%), and the Silent Generation (50%) were not far behind Millennials in reporting that

technology made their lives easier. Only 18% of Millennials, 21% of Gen-Xers, 30% of

Boomers, and 36% of the Silent Generation said that technology made their lives more

complicated. Fifty-six percent of Millennials, 52% of Gen-Xers, 54% of Boomers, and

41% of the Silent Generation said that technology made them use their time more

efficiently, and 33% of Millennials, 34% of Gen-Xers, 35% of Boomers, and 41% of the

Silent Generation said that technology caused them to waste time.

The same Pew study (Taylor & Keeter, 2010) found that 77% of Americans in

January 2010 used the internet or send or receive e-mail at least occasionally. That

was an increase from 14% in 1995 (Kohut, Bowman, & Petrella, 1995), 68% in 2005

(Rainie, 2005), and 74% in 2009 (Smith, 2009). But Millennials also outpaced the other

generations in general when it came to their use of the internet. In 2010, 90% of

Millennials were users of the internet, compared to 87% of Gen-Xers, 79% of Boomers,

and 40% of the Silent Generation. Of Millennials between the ages of 18 and 24, 92%

were internet users. The numbers were even higher, 96%, for Millennials who had

attended or were attending college. Of those Millennials who had never attended

college, 83% were at least occasional internet users (Taylor & Keeter, 2010).

Millennials were also the strongest user group of social networking sites, with 75%

of Millennials reporting they had a social networking profile. Seventy five percent of

those social networking users reported that they visited a social networking site more









than once a week, and 29% reported that they visited the site several times a day

(Taylor & Keeter, 2010). Twitter use was also highest among Millennial users at 14%.

Of those Millennials who attended college, 17% used Twitter, while only 9% of

Millennials who did not attend college used Twitter (Taylor & Keeter, 2010).

Forty-one percent of adult Americans connected to the internet wirelessly, and the

numbers increase to 62% when looking at Millennials who used the internet wirelessly.

Pew found no significant difference between Millennials of different ages or genders in

their use of wireless internet, but Millennials who attended college were found to be

more likely to use wireless internet (74%) than those who had not attended college

(47%). Free and ubiquitous wireless internet services available on many college

campuses made a college student's access to wireless internet much more likely

(Taylor & Keeter, 2010).

The Pew study (Taylor & Keeter, 2010) also reported that a majority of every

generation owned a cell phone, but Millennials (41%) were more likely than Gen-Xers

(24%), Boomers (13%), or the Silent Generation (5%) to have a cell phone only, without

a landline telephone. Eighty-three percent of Millennials slept with or next to their cell

phones. The 2010 Pew study (Purcell et al.) found that young people between the

ages of 18 and 29 were the least likely to be interested in news. Only 35% of Millennial

respondents to the Pew survey said they followed the news all or most of the time,

compared with Gen-Xers (56%), Boomers (65%), and the Silent Generation (70%).

News Consumption

In 2010 survey of Americans over the age of 18, Pew researchers (Purcell et al.,

2010) found that 78% of American adults said they got some news content from a local

television station, and 73% said they get news content from a national network or cable









network news show. The internet ranked as the third source for news content at 61%.

More than 50% of respondents said they heard news information on the radio, and 50%

said that they read a local newspaper. Only 17% reported reading a national

newspaper like The New York Times or USA Today on a typical day.

Diddi and LaRose (2006) studied the news consumption habits of college students

and found among students in the study, internet portal sites were one of the most

frequently used media for news consumption, second only to college newspapers.

Internet portal sites, such as Google News or Yahoo! News compiled news stories from

a variety of sources and allowed users to search for and read news from a multiple

sources via a single search engine. It was assumed that the news consumption habits

of college students may have differed from those of the general population of readers of

all ages because of the ready understanding of and access to the internet, college

newspapers, and libraries, the researchers argue that the results are relevant as a study

of "the first internet generation" (p. 198). Researchers found that "when confronted by a

myriad of media choices, the consumer lapses into habitual patterns of media

consumption in order to conserve mental resources, rather than repeatedly engaging in

active selection" (p. 195). The online medium is a familiar one for most Millennials, as

90% of all Millennials and 96% of Millennials who are attending or have attended

college are internet users (Taylor & Keeter, 2010).

Online news outlets provided a new, user-driven way of navigating news stories.

Thorson's 2008 study looked at the use of "news recommendation engines," such as a

news website's list of most emailed stories, and how they could change the pattern of

news consumption. Thorson examined the most-emailed stories on the New York









Times website over two, 23-day periods. She found that the stories on the most-emailed

list differed from the stories chosen as the most important by editors those given

prominent placement in the print edition of the paper. By creating the most-emailed list,

readers of the online edition of the paper played a role in dictating which stories are

given more play online. The appearance of same articles on the most-emailed list for

several consecutive days indicated that such news recommendation engines did impact

the navigation of news online.

The Associated Press (2008) performed in-depth interviews with 18 people

between the ages of 18 and 34, with an emphasis on those between 18 and 24, from

three different countries. Participants were chosen from six metropolitan areas in the

United States, the United Kingdom, and India. All participants had access to the

internet and used it to access news content daily. The study found that "the participants

in the study were consuming a steady diet of bite-size pieces of news in the form of

headlines, updates and quick facts" (p. 37), but that deeper subject such as "backstory"

and "spin-offs" were harder for readers to find. Participants wanted increased depth

and breadth rather than superficial or cursory coverage of news topics, but they had

difficulty finding those details that the AP called "below-the-fold1" items. One participant

said that "news [today] is not the full story, but more like a preview-it's kind of annoying

sometimes. I don't like to get bits and pieces of information" (p. 37). The study found

and emphasis on the use of news portals as sources of news for young people. It found





1 "Above the fold" refers to the most important stories in a newspaper, those
stories that appear on the top half of the front page. Stories that are "below" the fold are
considered less important.









that the young people in the study were using Yahoo! News as an entry point for news.

Based on its findings, AP made changes to its business model, including a partnership

with Yahoo! and the launch of its mobile site in May 2008.

Seeking News Online

Purcell et al. (2010) found that, among American adults, the internet is the third

most popular source of news information, after local and national television news and

ahead of radio and print national and local newspapers. Millennials also cited the

internet as a primary source of news behind local and national television. Among

Millennials, 65% reported getting most of their news from television sources, and 59%

reported using the internet as their main news source (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). Pew

researchers (Horrigan, 2006) found that after e-mail and online searching, seeking news

content is the third most popular activity online. Pew found that 43% of broadband

users got their news "yesterday" from an online source, and for "high-powered users,"2

71% got their news from an online source on a typical day.

As for the information that users were seeking online, weather was the number

one response (81% of internet users), followed by national events (73%), health and

medicine (66%), business and the economy (64%), international events (62%), and

science and technology (60%) (Purcell et al., 2010).

The Associated Press study (2008) found that while the participants were exposed

to news content around the clock, they spend more time focused on "above-the-fold"

information, such as big headlines and breaking news stories. The participants reported




2 Those who perform four or more activities on the Internet daily









that they didn't get depth or breadth in their news stories. The AP also reported that the

young readers didn't like to get information in bits and spurts from an online source.

Instead of being given short updates, the readers would have preferred to get a single,

deeper story.

Kohut et al. (2008) found that 13% of Americans were what the researchers

considered the "Net Newsers" audience segment. They used the internet as their main

source of news content and frequently watch news videos online. Net Newsers were

typically well educated and affluent, and they were the youngest of the audience

segments Pew identified, with a median age of 35. Seventeen percent of Net Newsers

read online news compared to 8% who read a print newspaper and 10% who read both.

The researchers also found that between 2003 and 2008 the number of people who

said they sought news online increased from 31% to 37%.

Ahlers (2006) identified four groups of news consumers: "online only,"

"multichannel users," "dabblers," and offlinee only." In 2006, Ahlers found that 13% of

American adults were offline only users, and two-thirds of those who never read news

content online "appear unlikely to do so" (p. 29). Ahlers suggested that while a

widespread migration to replace offline news sources with online ones had not occurred

as of 2006, data from his study suggested "that a large-scale migration from traditional

media to the online medium for news readership/viewership is merely a matter of time"

(p. 38).

Horrigan (2006) found that while in general, the under-36 age group was less

interested in news than older survey participants, among broadband users, the under-

36 group was the most likely to get news online. Pew found that the speed of internet









connection played a role in determining whether or not a reader would seek news

content online. For those Millennials readers under the age of 36, 46% of the

broadband users turned to the internet for news while only 21% of the dial-up users

sought news online (Horrigan, 2006).

As for where readers went for news online, Horrigan (2006) found that most

internet users, 46%, went to a national TV news organization site, such as CNN or

MSNBC, for news; 39% went to portal websites such as Google or Yahoo! News; 32%

went to the site of a local daily newspaper; 31% went to a local TV news station; and

20% went to a national daily newspaper site. The numbers were between 1 and 6

percentage points higher for broadband users.

Online news readers got a different version of the news than those offline only

readers. Gasher and Gabriele (2004) examined content in online and print versions of a

Canadian newspaper to determine if editors of the online publication used the online

medium to diversify the news content and bridge the gap between "real world and the

news world" (p. 313). Most notably, they found that the online version of the paper

contained more than twice the items3 than the print edition each day. Less news

content could be expected with the limited news hole4 available in print news, but the

items in the online edition came from fewer unique sources than those in the print

paper. The print edition often drew stories from other newspapers, and it offered more





3 Items included stories, stand-alone photographs with captions, and editorial
cartoons

4 The amount of space available for news content in a newspaper after the
advertisements have been laid out.









variety in the news included than the online edition did. The researchers found that the

online site did not offer in-depth coverage of topics. "The site provided only the barest

of facts, offering minimal context, making it difficult to discern at times why an item

might be of interest to its readers" (p. 320).

Unlike Gasher and Gabriele (2004), D"Haenens et al. (2004) determined that print

and online versions of the newspapers they studied contained a comparable number of

stories, despite their assumption that online papers would contain more stories.

D"Haenens et al. found that online readers retain what they'd read in the same way that

readers of offline news do. The researchers examined the differences between news

retention after readers read a story online and in a print newspaper and found that

"news consumption seems to be more dependent on the news category, reader gender

and interest in a particular topic than on whether the news appears in print or online"

(2004, p. 363).

Beginning in 1990, the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, performed the

first of a series of studies in an effort to determine how readers read news items. The

research involved observing participants reading news and used eye-tracking

technology to follow the readers' eye movements using special glasses fitted with two

small cameras. The technology allowed researchers to gather information about what a

reader looked at and how long he or she looked when reading news content. In 2008,

the Poynter researchers, in partnership with the Philadelphia News, Rocky Mountain

News, St. Petersburg Times, and the Star Tribune, released a study of 582 participants

reading news in print newspapers or online. Researchers found that online readers

read more of a story than readers of print newspapers. Online readers were likely to









click on stories that interested them, and when viewing a story of interest, they read

more deeply than print readers. Online readers read a story to its completion 63% of

the time, considerably more often than readers of the print papers.

Social media has become another platform for reading and distributing news

beyond the traditional media outlets' online products. Smith (2008) found that 73% of

active internet users, those who used the internet daily or every other day, have read a

blog, 57% managed a profile on a social networking site, 55% left comments on blogs,

46% left comments on a news site, and 36% subscribed to RSS feeds. Smith predicted

that because regularity of use increases over time that eventually everyone would

become an active user of the internet, as people had with television since its

widespread introduction in the US in the 1940s and 1950s (Smith, 2008).

The Associated Press found that young users follow news in part as "social

currency." Being knowledgeable about news topics allowed them to converse with

others or join conversations with peers. Some participants used news knowledge "to

look smart, connect with friends and family and even move up the social-economic

ladder" (AP, 2008, p. 47). One type of this social communication occurred when a

reader posted or commented on a news link on a social networking site.

Of those with a social networking profile, 10% got their news online through those

sites (Rainie, 2009). A 2010 Pew study found that 75% of online news users got some

news content through e-mail forwards or via posts to social networking sites. Of online

news consumers, 52% said that they had shared links to news content through e-mail or

posts on their own social networking site profiles. Pew found that 51% of social

networking users who were also online news consumers got news from their social









networking "friend's" posts within the social networking site. Of social networking users

and online news consumers, 23% had friended, fanned or followed5 a news

organization or a journalist on the social networking site. For example, a Facebook user

can become a fan of a specific journalist, and a Twitter user can follow a network or a

television show using that site (Purcell et al., 2010).

Accessing Online Content

Purcell et al. (2010) found that most internet news users were likely to visit two to

five websites for information, and 65% said that they did not have a favorite site for

news information online. Only 11% found their news using more than five websites on a

typical day, and 21% relied on a single site for their online news information daily

(Purcell et al., 2010).

Flavian and Gurrea (2008) found that readers of online news chose their websites

based on usability and familiarity with the site. As usability was one of the main

characteristics that users cite in making the decision as to which online news source

they will use, the usability of a site was even more pronounced depending on the device

used to access the site. "The results support an intense effect of usability and familiarity

with web sites on the choice of electronic newspaper. However, reputation, privacy and

trust in the web sites do not influence significantly the final choice of digital dailies"

(2008, p. 26) Despite the findings that blogs had a lower level of reputation than




5 Becoming a fan, friend, or follower on a social networking site is a way for users
to show their connection to other users or to organizations that use the sites. For
example, a Twitter user follows other Twitter users to see their posts. On Facebook, a
user becomes a fan of a person or organization to indicate support or interest. Both
Facebook and MySpace allow users to become friends with other users, giving both
users access to each other's profiles and showing a connection between the two.









established press sites, the growing popularity of blogs among online readers indicated

that they should be included in a discussion of online news sources (Flavian, 2008).

Gebauer's (2008) study of mobile technology used the task-technology fit theory

in analyzing user requirements for mobile devices. While the study focused on the

business users' requirements for mobile technology, the findings may transfer to the fit

between the task of accessing news content online and the current mobile technology

available. The researcher found that some issues governing how well the mobile

technology fit the users' requirements are the "form factors" such as device weight and

screen size. Convenience, timeliness and flexibility were the most-often-mentioned

impacts of mobile technology among participants of the study (Gebauer, 2008).

Young people defined technology broadly and in terms of activities performed

rather than hardware and software used to perform them. Oblinger and Oblinger (2005)

found that for college-age people, technology was so ubiquitous that they didn't always

recognize it as technology. For example, they saw the internet as a tool used to access

online functionality, but they didn't consider it a technology. Instead "technology"

described something new or innovative, and for many young people, technologies such

as internet, cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging, and text messaging are neither new

nor innovative, but instead tools they've hardly known a time without.

Young people are not always aware of the potential uses of the technologies they

employ. The 2005 case study by Robinson and Dodd (2006) about communications'

students use of handheld computers found that students who used the devices, such as

the Palm personal digital assistant or PDA, were familiar with a wide range of

technologies but when introduced to the handheld computer were not likely to grasp the









potential of the device or its capabilities. Most of the students in the study needed the

encouragement and guidance of the instructors to explore the capabilities of the

technology.

Purcell et al. (2010) found that 33% of American adults had used their cell phones

or another mobile device to access news content online. The first so-called "smart

phone" was released by IBM in 1992. The phone, called the Simon, was the first multi-

function cellular phone and was low-tech by 2010 standards. The Simon contained a

calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, address book, games and email

functionality. It was followed in 1996 by phones from Nokia and Ericsson. The term

"smart phone" was announced in 2002 when Microsoft released a mobile operating

system software using the term.

Smart phones increased in functionality since the release of the Simon. At the

beginning of the 21st century, data transfer, email, and internet access became standard

on cellular phones. Users had the ability to access web content, including news

content, from their cell phones while away from a computer or a wired internet

connection. Apple's release of the iPhone in June 2007 changed the concept of the

smartphone. The thin, light-weight phone combined all the functions of earlier smart

phones with a larger screen that had better definition than available before, a portable

media player, a personal assistant, a web browser, and the ability to download

applications, or "apps." Shortly after the release of the original iPhone, Apple released

the iPod Touch, a non-phone mobile device that included much of the functionality of

the iPhone but with Wi-Fi capability and without the phone function.









To capitalize on these mobile news users, media organizations started to develop

mobile versions of their traditional websites. A mobile version of the site was more user

friendly for users who would be viewing the site on a much smaller screen than the

traditional computer monitor. Mobile sites generally included a single list of headlines

rather than a layout that required users to scroll left to right on their small, mobile device

screens. For example, The New York Times released a mobile version of its news site

in September 2006. The mobile site for the Tampa Tribune debuted in early 2006, but

traffic to the mobile site increased in 2007 along with the increase of web-enabled

phones. Some media outlets, such as the New York Times and USA Today, developed

apps that could be downloaded for free from Apple's App Store for the iPhone or iPod

Touch. These apps were similar to mobile sites in that they made the news easily

accessible with a single list of headlines and larger font sizes for users with the smaller

screens, but mobile apps allow access to the news content without accessing a web

browser. In 2010, 18% of mobile news consumers had downloaded and used an app

for news content on their cell phone (Purcell et al, 2010).

According to the 2010 Pew study (Purcell et al., 2010), 80% of American adults

owned a cell phone, and 37% went online using their cell phones. Twenty-six percent

of all Americans (33% of cell phone owners) have used their cell phone to get some

form of news content from the internet. Pew also looked at the type of news information

users are seeking while using their cell phones. The most popular information that

mobile news users sought was weather (26%), followed by news and current events

(25%). In addition to offering apps, some major media outlets allowed users to

subscribe to a service that sends text message alerts about news events to the user's









cell phone. CNN Text Alerts was part of the CNN toGO6 service that sent breaking

news text messages to subscribers who used Verizon telephone service. These users

were part of the 11% of mobile news users who had gotten news content via e-mail or

text messages to their cell phones (Purcell et al, 2010).

Complementing Traditional Media

Research on news consumption found that online news content was a

complement to print, television, and radio news rather than a replacement for those

traditional media sources (Stempel, 1995; Stempel et al., 2000; Ahler, 2006; Nguyen,

2007; Purcell et al., 2010). Pew (Purcell et al., 2010) found that 38% of American adults

relied solely on offline source of news such as television and print newspaper. Only 2%

of American adults used the internet as a sole source of news information, but nearly

60% of American adults got their news from a combination of online and offline sources.

In a survey of media use in relation to the internet, Stempel, Hargrove, and Bernt

(2000) used the knowledge-seeking model in explaining why "internet users are more

likely than non-users to be newspaper readers and radio news listeners" (p. 71) across

demographic variables. In comparing internet and non-internet users, the internet users

were more likely to read a print newspaper and listen to news on the radio. The

researchers theorized that internet users were information-seekers by nature and were

more likely to seek out information on a variety of channels. The participants' use of the

internet as a news source complemented traditional news sources such as print

newspapers and television news sources rather than replaced them.




6 http://www.cnn.com/togo/providers_verizon.html









Ahlers (2006) reported that 12% of U.S. adults directly substituted online news

content for traditional media sources and another 22% have substituted some online

content for traditional offline news. A substantial portion of the 22%, Ahlers reported,

used online news to complement rather than a substitute for offline content (2006).

Gender

Studies have shown that women consider themselves less savvy with new

technology, specifically computer use, than men do (Schumacher & Morahan-Martin,

2001; Tsai, Lin & Tsai, 2001). Sieverding and Koch (2009) found no inherent gender

bias in the way their study participants perceived a male or female's ability to complete

a complex computer task, but when asked to rate their own knowledge with computers,

the female participants rated their own computer competence lower than men did

(Fallows, 2005; Sieverding & Koch, 2009).

Consistent with earlier studies (Shashaani & Khalili, 2001; Sherman, End, &

Kraan, 2000; Corston & Colman, 1996; Martin, 1991; Todman, 2000), Broos (2005)

found a significant difference between men and women in information and

communication technology experience and attitudes; women were more anxious, less

confident and more hesitant when using computers and the internet. Fallows (2005)

found that women, more than men, were anxious and concerned about what they

deemed the dangers of the internet, such as pornography and identity theft.

Fallows (2005) surveyed men and women about the way they went online and the

activities they did while online. Fallows found that men and women were accessing the

internet in similar numbers. In 2005, 86% of women between the ages of 18 and 29

went online compared to 80% of men the same age. In older age groups, men were









more likely than women to go online, but looking at men and women of all ages, 61% of

men were likely to go online compared to 57% of women.

Fallows (2005) found that men were going online more often than women. Of men

and women who used the internet, 44% of men and 39% of women reported that they

would go online several times a day. But from work, men (65%) and women (66%) were

equally likely to go online. The activities men and woman performed online differed in

2005:

Compared with women, online men are more likely to use the internet to:
check the weather, get news, get do-it-yourself information, check for sports
information, get political information, get financial information, do job-related
research, download software, listen to music, rate a product/person/service
through an online reputation system, download music files, use a webcam,
and take a class. Compared with men, online women are more likely to use
the internet to: send and receive email, get maps and directions, look for
health and medical information, use web sites to get support for health or
personal problems, and get religious information (Fallows, 2005).

Broadband users were also more likely to seek news content online than non-

users (Horrigan, 2006). Broadband users logged onto the internet more often than

those with slower internet connections, and men with broadband logged on more often

than women with the same connection. Men were more likely to have broadband

internet access at home than were women (Fallows, 2005).

Fallows (2005) reported that men were more interested in the "world of

technology" than women were (p. v). Men in the study were more likely to try new

technology, hardware and software. Men reported that they were more confident than

women at being able to troubleshoot their own computer problems, and men were more

likely to consider themselves "computer geeks" than were women. Men were

statistically more likely than women to be able to define all the following internet terms:

spam (90% men, 87% women), firewall (83%, 73%), spyware (82%, 74%), internet









cookies (74%, 62%), adware (60%, 44%), phishing (36%, 23%), podcasting (16%,

11%), and RSS feeds (12%, 6%).

Fallows (2005) found that men were more likely than women to seek news content

online. Fallows found that 75% of men and 69% women (a statistically significant

difference) used the internet to find news content online. Sixty percent of men and 56%

of women used the internet to see political campaign news online. In 2008, Kohut et al.

(2008) found that 58% of the "Net Newers," those who use the internet as their main

source of news, were men.

Mobile News Consumption

Leung and Wei (2000) studied cell phones before the introduction of smart phones

and mobile devices. Their research focused mainly on the ability for enhanced

communication via cell phone, but did not go as far as the use of cell phones to access

the internet or specifically news content online. "New generations of the cellular phone

(such as PCS-Personal Communications Systems) have evolved from a mobile talking

device into a multipurpose communication medium that is capable of transmitting and

disseminating voice, text, graphics, data, and even video" (2000, p. 308).

The 2009 Pew survey of internet users (Rainie, 2010) found that 55% of American

adults used a wireless connection to the internet via laptops, netbooks or handheld

devices like a smart phone or other mobile device. Of Millennials over 18 years old,

80% used wireless connections. Eighty-three percent of American adults had a cell

phone or smart phone, and 35% had accessed the internet via their phone (Rainie,

2010).

Westlund (2008) examined the attitudes and behaviors that influenced the

adoption and diffusion of using a mobile phone to access news content online in









Sweden. "The convergence of mobile phones and multimedia has meant that the

technological architecture of the mobile phone has changed. The mobile phone is no

longer only a telephone; it has become a personal mobile device that integrates both

communication and multimedia functionality" (p. 444). He found that "frequent users of

online newspapers have adopted the mobile device as a news medium to a higher

extent than the general public" (p. 452). He found a positive correlation between

readers of free print dailies and those who read news content online that was not

evident in readers of other daily print newspapers. Westlund found two groups relied

more heavily on news content accessed through mobile devices: "on-the-go" people

and those who spent a high number of hours working.

Uses and Gratifications

Uses and gratifications is not a theory but rather a collection of work and studies

that examines the users' needs and the choices they make to satisfy those

needs. Rubin and Rubin (1985) asserted that all communication contexts and channels

could be explained through a uses and gratifications approach. Studies have applied

the uses and gratifications approach to examine internet use (LaRose, 2001; LaRose,

2004) related to social networking (Raacke, 2008), political communication (Jackson,

2007; Kay, 2002), online gaming (Chang, 2006), religion and the search for it

(Richardson, 2003), internet abuse (Song, 2004), and online news content (Diddi,

2006).

Uses and gratifications proposes that people actively seek out media (in this

case, using the web to seek online news information) to satisfy certain needs (Katz,

1973). Morris and Ogan (1996) and Lin (1999) found that online users are more

"active" in their selection of content in an online medium than users of other traditional









media, so uses and gratifications is especially useful in examining user motivations.

Previous research found that users who consume online information make purposeful

choices of the content they view by searching, navigating to, and clicking on information

they wish to view (Lin, 1999; Johnson and Kaye, 2002).

Some studies approached uses and gratification research by looking at the

observed gratifications and seeking the needs from which they result, others began with

the users' needs and work to identify the resulting gratifications (Katz, 1973). Katz

described a surveillance function that was exemplified by a "desire for security or the

satisfaction of curiosity and the exploratory drive" (1973, p. 513).

This study included two different elements that could be examined through the

lens of uses and gratifications research: the use of online news content and the use of a

specific device to access news content online.Looking at several methods of connecting

to online news content a wired, stationary environment like a desktop computer, a

wireless environment such as a laptop computer, or a wireless, mobile technology

device such as a cellular, smart phone or other mobile device this study examined the

extent to which each technology is used to access news content online and to report on

the gratifications associated with the surveillance need to access news content online.

Diffusion of Innovations

It was useful to expand the discussion from uses and gratifications to also

include the theory of innovation diffusion (Rogers, 1995). With advances in technology,

the portals to internet news content were becoming more plentiful in 2010. No longer

was a user required to remain at a wired workstation to access the web; wireless

networks offered some freedom of mobility that was outstripped by the advent of mobile

devices that utilized wireless networks.









Everett Rogers' diffusion of innovations described the way that new technologies,

or innovations, were adopted or diffused through a population. "Diffusion is the process

by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the

members of a social system" (p. 5). Rogers defined an innovation using five

characteristics: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability (the ability to try

an innovation before adopting it), and observability (the ability to observe how others

use the innovation).

All five characteristics were evident in the innovation of seeking news content

online. Seeking news online offered the relative advantage of being able to access up-

to-the-minute content without consumer cost. With 70% of Americans using the internet

(Horrigan, 2006), seeking news content online was compatible with the lifestyle of

people who were already comfortable getting information online and with seeking news

content through other media. Again, news online wasn't too complex as people are

already comfortable seeking non-news content online. Studies showed that online

news complements other news sources rather than replacing them (Stempel, 1995;

Stempel et al., 2000; Ahler, 2006; Nguyen, 2007; Purcell et al., 2010), so the innovation

was able to be tried without abandoning other media. In addition, online news

information was so ubiquitous that its use was easily observable.

Once an innovation was defined, Rogers theorized that the adoption of the

innovation will follow an S-curve with a slope that varied based on the innovation.

"Some new ideas diffuse relatively rapidly and the S-curve is quite steep. Other

innovations have a slower rate of adoption, and the S-curve is more gradual" (1995, p.

23) At the height of the S-curve, the innovation is so highly diffused, it is considered to









have reached critical mass. Stafford argued that the internet has reached "critical

mass," and new users to the internet were in the late adopter category.

In examining the use of online news sources, the aim was to learn about the

diffusion status and the adopters of internet news. As for the devices used to access

news content online, there was the question of diffusion of the device and diffusion of

the process of using the device to access online news content. Using both uses and

gratification and diffusion of innovation theories, Chen and Corkindale (2007) studied

the factors that influenced the adoption of online news services. They identified six

factors that influenced the adoption of online news sources: perceived usefulness,

perceived core service quality, perceived supplementary service quality, trust,

networking, and interface and subjective norm. This research examined why users

chose one news site over another but not why users would choose to seek news

information online rather than from a traditional print, television, or radio source.

In summary, this study examined the way that college Millennials accessed news

content both on and offline and the news sources they accessed in a breaking news

situation. Purcel et al. (2010) indicated that while young users are not the most

interested in news content, they are avid users of technology, including the internet and

web-enabled devices. Previous literature (Schumacher & Morahan-Martin, 2001; Tsai,

Lin & Tsai, 2001; Broos, 2005; Fallows, 2005) indicated that men were likely to be more

comfortable than women using computers and technology, but Taylor and Keeter (2010)

suggested that both men and women in the Millennial age group were equally

comfortable accessing the internet because both groups had spent most of their lives

using computers.









The study was designed to address the following five research questions:

1. RQ1: Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a source other
than a traditional media organization?

2. RQ2: What is the extent to which college students use a particular device (desktop,
laptop or mobile device) to access news content online?

3. RQ3: How does a college student's type of home internet connection (high-speed,
dial-up) affect the type of device he/she uses to access news content online?

4. RQ4: Do college men perceive themselves more comfortable accessing news
content online than college women?

5. RQ5: Do college men have a more positive attitude toward accessing online news
content than college women?









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

A 37-item online questionnaire (see Appendix A) was developed and administered to

undergraduate students in a media writing course at a large, southeastern university.

The questionnaire was administered using the web-based Qualtrics1 Research Suite,

and students completed the questionnaire during class time. They were given a small

token of a piece of candy for their participation. Students self-reported their experience

in accessing different sources of news content, the devices they owned and used on a

regular basis, and the way they would react to breaking news situations. Their

responses were analyzed in an effort to answer the research questions.

Reliability and Validity

The survey method is known to be strong on reliability and weak on validity. All

students who participated in the survey responded to the same questionnaire, with the

exception of one question asking about class section number. That one question was

updated between the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters to reflect the appropriate

section numbers in each semester. That question was used only to determine which

classes had completed the questionnaire, and the results were not used in any data

analysis. Using the same instrument with every participant helped to ensure that

student responses were appropriate for comparison.

As the sample was taken from a media writing course and most of the participants

were majoring in advertising, journalism and public relations, they were probably a more





1 http://www.qualtrics.com









uniform group than a sample of other undergraduate students. Also, because the

students were taking a media writing class where they were expected to read news in

an effort to better understand news-writing styles, there may be an element of social

desirability bias where these students were more likely to report that they read news

than others in their peer group.

The questionnaire asked about the number of days the respondent used each

device (desktop computer, laptop computer, cell phone, and other mobile device) both

to access news content and to access the internet. As a check of reliability, the number

of days a device was used to access the internet was verified to be equal to or greater

than the number of days the device was used to access news content online.

The students were self-reporting information about their news consumption, the

devices they used, and the internet connection they had. The results are based only on

what the participants self-reported, and this could impact the validity of a survey.

Participants may have answered questions based on what they thought they should be

doing as students in a news writing class.

As a check on the validity of demographic questions, the data about gender,

major, and class standing was compared to the data for the college overall and found

that the means for men and women in each major was close to the breakdown for the

entire college. The class standings reported in the survey also matched what was

expected as there were few freshmen and seniors in the sample results and the class

was typically taken by sophomores and juniors.

The scenario questions were designed to gather information about how

participants seek more information in a breaking-news situation. The questionnaire was









developed to offer three different scenarios, each with a different degree of access to

the internet. Each scenario presented details about the situation and asked students

how important it was for them to learn more information about the situation and the

reason why it was important or unimportant to them. Students were also asked how

likely they were to seek additional information about the situation. Using the scales for

importance and for likelihood to seek more information, the aim was to measure the

participants' behavior in how they would seek more information. In the subsequent

open-ended question about why it was important to learn more about the situation, the

hope was to gather information about the participants' motivation. By asking how the

participant would seek additional information, the hope was to gather data on which

sources a participant was likely to use to obtain information in a breaking-news

situation. The subsequent question about why the participant chose a particular source

was asked to gather information about motivation. The answers to the motivation

questions were compared to the answers about importance of seeking more information

and the reason for choosing a specific source to determine if the answers concurred.

For example, if a participant answered that it was very important to get more information

at a situation, then a motivation answer that "It is none of my business, so I wouldn't

need to know more about the situation" would not be validated.

The survey instrument was administered during class time, and it took

approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is possible that the students were not very

reflective in taking time to answer each question. Only two questions for each scenario

allowed the option to comment. Those comments were used to gather information

about motivation, and that information was only provided by students who took time to









reflect and answer why they were likely or unlikely to seek more information and why

they chose a particular source to find it.

The questions about accessing news content used the phrase "in a typical week"

when asking participants about how often they engaged in a particular activity, such as

accessing news content using a certain device or finding news content from a specific

source. Asking about "a typical week" rather than "last week" or the "current week,"

aimed to avoid receiving responses that were atypical for the participant. For example,

a participant who was too busy or preoccupied with another matter in the previous or

current week could still answer questions about "a typical week" to provide more

meaningful data.

Using anecdotal evidence, participants were asked about a "typical week" rather

than the "typical day" that Pew researchers used in their study (Purcell et al, 2010)

because she assumed that most students were not accessing news content online

daily. By expanding the unit of measure to a typical week, information could be

collection about an activity that might not have occurred on a typical day.

As appropriate, questions included responses "other" or "none" to provide

exhaustive answer options for all participants. Responses of "other" also prompted

participants to enter text providing a description of the other option.

In the questions about devices, participants were asked which devices they owned

or had access to on a regular basis. It was predicted that while some participants might

not own a device examined in this study, desktop computer, laptop computer, web-

enabled cell phone, or other mobile device with access to the web, it was still possible

for the participant to regular use the device owned by a friend, roommate, significant









other, parent, or the university. The question about the length of time the participant

had used each device on a weekly basis was used to gauge the participant's familiarity

with the device.

Measures and Instrument

The questionnaire began with five demographic questions about age, gender,

academic standing, major, and section number. Question 5 about the student's section

number was asked to determine which classes had completed the questionnaire. As

students were randomly divided into class sections for the university registration

process, differences between students in each section were not expected, and this

question was not used for any analysis or identification.

Scenarios

The questionnaire included three scenarios that described breaking-news

situations in which students had increasing access to online sources. The scenarios

and the questions that followed (questions 6 through 20) were included to gather data

related to RQ1, Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a source

other than a traditional media organization?

The scenarios placed students in three different situations with varying levels of

access to technology.

* Scenario 1: You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police
cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and
firefighters in the area, but you can't see an obvious reason why they are there and
you aren't able to ask the officers what is happening.

* Scenario 2: You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on campus.
When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and there is a notice on all
the counters saying that it has been closed by order of the Health Department.

* Scenario 3: You are in your dorm room when your roommate tells you that the swine
flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick.









Each scenario was followed by a set of questions asking how the students would

seek news in each situation. Using a five-point Likert-type response scale from 1

(extremely important) to 5 (extremely unimportant), students were asked how important

it was for them to know more about the situation. They were asked why it was

important or unimportant for them to seek more information. On a seven-point scale

from 1 (very likely) to 7 (very unlikely), participants were asked how likely they were to

seek additional information about the situation. Students were also asked which

method (both online and offline) they would use to seek more information about the

situation: blog, family member/parents, friend, mobile device application, print

newspaper, newspaper website, online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo!

News), radio, social networking website (such as Facebook or MySpace), television, or

television station website. They were asked why they would seek information using this

method.

News Content

For the purpose of this study, "news content" was defined as information about

recent and important events, not including entertainment or celebrity news. Question 21

asked students how often they accessed news content online. Responses ranged from

1 (several times a day) to 7 (never). Students who responded that they never accessed

news online were asked why in question 22.

For participants who did access news content online question 24 asked how

likely they were to access each of the following online news sources in a typical week:

national newspaper site, regional/local newspaper site, national television news site

(such as CNN or Fox News), news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News), local

television news site, blog, mobile device application (such as an application for iPhone









or iPod), social networking site (such as Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter). The question

used a seven-point Likert-type scale to measure whether the participant was likeliness

to access news content online, from 1 (very unlikely) to 7 (very likely).

Question 29 asked participants how many days in a typical week they got news

from the following online and offline sources: college newspaper, local/regional

newspaper, national newspaper, radio, television, family/friends or an online source.

To gather information related to RQ2, What is the extent to which college students

use a particular device (desktop, laptop, web-enabled cell phone or mobile device) to

access news content online?, participants were asked about how many days in a typical

week they used a desktop computer, laptop computer, web-enabled cell phone or other

mobile device to access the internet and news content online.

Question 23 asked student how many days in a typical week they used each of the

devices to access news content online. Question 37 asked how many days in a typical

week the devices were used to access the internet (without specifying news).

Comparing the two answers allowed comparison for how often the devices were used to

access the internet for general information and how often they were used to access

news content on the internet.

Internet Connection

To gather data for RQ3, How does a college student's type of home internet

connection (high-speed, dial-up) affect the type of device he/she uses to access news

content online?, the questionnaire included questions about the type of internet

connection the participant has access to both inside and outside the home.

Question 30 asked students which type of internet connection they had at home:

dial-up, high-speed, Wi-Fi, other, or none. For the purpose of this study, "home" was









considered the place where the participant lived while attending school. Questions 31

through 34 asked about the type of high-speed and wireless internet the students used

outside their homes in a typical week and the numbers of days in a typical week they

used high-speed and wireless internet outside their homes.


Online News Content

Research questions RQ4, Do college men perceive themselves more comfortable

accessing news content online than college women?, and RQ5, Do college men have a

more positive attitude toward accessing online news content than college women?,

asked about gender and online news access.

Question 25 used a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (very comfortable)

to 5 (very uncomfortable) to ask participants how comfortable they were accessing

online news content. All participants, even those who said they didn't access news

online in a typical week, were asked questions 26 and 27 about what they liked and

disliked about accessing news online. Using a five-point scale from 1 (positive/strongly

like) to 7 (negative/strongly dislike), question 28 asked participants to describe their

feelings toward news content online.

Question 35 asked participants about the devices, including desktop computer,

laptop computer, cell phone with access to the Web, mobile device (other than a cell

phone) with access to the Web (such as an iPod Touch or Kindle), that participants

regularly had access to use. This question gathered information about the devices

participants used and about their experience with each device. Using a four-point scale,

question 36 asked about participant experience with a device, measured by the length









of time he or she had used a particular device, from 1 (less than a year), 2 (between

one and three years), 3 (between three and seven year), to 4 (more than seven years).

Survey

The questionnaire was administered to the students of an introductory writing for

mass communication course at a large southeastern university during the fall 2009 and

spring 2010 semesters. The sample population was of particular interest because

communications students have a vested interest in digital news content, and college

students in 2009 and 2010 are part of the internet generation who had been exposed to

the internet nearly their entire lives. Their use of the internet for accessing news

content was of particular interest.

The university had a computer requirement for all undergraduate students. The

requirement differed by college and sometimes by major, but all students were required

to have access to and the use of a computer and access to the internet. The university

campus also offered campus-wide wireless internet connection. Using a university

login, students could access the internet throughout campus from either campus

computer labs or using their own computers or mobile devices.

The students were asked to complete the voluntary survey during the computer

lab portion of their writing class. Completing the questionnaire took approximately 15

minutes, and students in the classroom at the time the survey was administered were

given a small token of candy, regardless of participation.

Limitations

This study used a small sample of mass communications students from a single

college at a single, large, southeastern university. The results from this population are

only useful in describing the behaviors of this group of students but cannot be









generalized to a larger population. Because the sample included only students in a

mass communication class, participants may have been likely to report they were

seeking news information more often than if the sample had been selected from other

majors. The sample included only one telecommunications student, and that might

have affected the likelihood that television would be used as a news source by

participants. The university offered free wireless internet connection on campus for

anyone with a university computer login. University computer requirements also meant

that the population was very likely to own and regularly use a computer to access the

internet.

The questions for the survey were developed and then submitted to the

university's Institutional Review Board for approval. The findings of the survey could

have been strengthened if some of the questions had been based on questions asked

in previous research studies, thus providing a comparison to other time periods or

populations. The questionnaire was not pilot tested before being administered in order

to conduct the survey before the end of fall semester 2009.

The survey instrument construction had several elements that limited the results of

the study. For example, question 24, the open-ended question about the number of

days that students used a particular device to access news content online each week

allowed for some misinterpretation. Responses from 32 participants were invalidated

because the respondent entered a number great than seven. Among laptop users, 22

entered numbers greater than seven and as great as 100 to indicate how many days in

a typical week they access news content online using a laptop. Respondents may have

answered the question to indicate the number of times per week, rather than the









number of days per week, they used a device to access news content online. A pilot of

the instrument may have caught and corrected the problem with these questions.









CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS

This study was conducted in the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters using a 37-

item online survey of undergraduate mass communication students at a large public

southeastern university. The survey was conducted during class time in a media

writing course required for students majoring in advertising, journalism, and public

relations. The survey was created in Qualtrics and took students approximately 15

minutes to complete. Completing the survey was voluntary.

A total of 387 participants answered the questionnaire. Eighteen questionnaires

were invalid because they were started but not completed. One survey, completed by

an instructor, was also invalidated. The usable sample consisted of 368 completed

student surveys.

Using IBM SPSS Statistics 18 frequencies on all data were run as well as cross

tabulations, t-tests, and the chi-square test for independence as appropriate. An alpha

level of p<.05 was used for all statistical tests to determine statistical significance.

Content of participants' answers to open-ended questions were analyzed to identify

patterns in respondent's comments about motivations. All percentages were calculated

based on the number of respondents for a given question, not the number of

participants in the study.

Three terms were defined in the survey to make sure survey participants would

have the same concept in mind as they made their responses. "News content" was

defined as information about recent and important events, not including entertainment

or celebrity news. A "news portal" is an online site such as Google News or Yahoo!

News which allows a user to search for news content from a variety of sources from a









single site. Several survey questions asked about internet use at "home," and home

was defined as the place the respondent lived while attending school.

Demographics

More than 98% (n=361) of respondents were between the ages of 17 and 22 with

a mean of 19.4 (SD = 0.84). Of the seven participants outside that age range, three

were 23, two were 24, and one was 30, and one was 31 years old.

The respondents were 22% (n=79) male and 79% (n=289) female. All

respondents were undergraduates: 13% (n=46) freshmen, 59% (n=218) sophomores,

28% (n=103) juniors and less than 1% (n=1) seniors. While there were more female

than male participants in the survey, the numbers closely match those of the

undergraduates enrolled in the journalism, public relations, and advertising programs at

the university, which were 22% male and 78% female in spring 2010 (Distribution by

college, 2010).

Thirty-three percent (n=122) were majoring in advertising, 32% (n=116) in

journalism, 32% (n=117) in public relations, and 3% (n=12) in other areas. The

students majoring outside the three core majors were studying agricultural

communications (n=5), English (n=2), visual art studies (n=1), exploratory humanities

(n=1), psychology (n=1), music (n=1), and telecommunication (n=1).

Scenarios

Scenario 1. You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police

cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and

firefighters in the area, but you can't see an obvious reason why they are there and you

aren't able to ask the officers what is happening.









In Scenario 1, 92% (n=336) of participants reported that it was either extremely

important or somewhat important to get more information about the situation. No

participants responded that it was extremely unimportant to get more information about

the situation. Nearly 90% (n=331) of all respondents were likely to seek more

information about the situation. Only 6% (n=23) of all respondents were unlikely to seek

more information, and none of the respondents was very unlikely to see more

information.

Of respondents who said they were likely to seek more information, the most

common motivations were curiosity and safety concerns. Thirty-four percent (n=124) of

all respondents listed a curiosity motivation for seeking more information about Scenario

1. Their answers to open-ended question 8, "Why are you likely or unlikely to seek

additional information?" included answers with words such as, "curiosity," "nosey,"

"aware," and "interested." Eighteen percent (n=65) of respondents included words such

as "safety," "health," "concern," "danger," and "emergency" in their answers.

Respondents wrote comments such as "I'm curious about what has happened at my

school" and "I am likely to seek additional information not only to satisfy my own

curiosity, but also to confirm that I am safe."

Sixteen percent (n=60) of respondents responded that they were motivated by a

sense of community. They wrote comments about "my school" and "my campus."

Comments included "It's my community, and I live down the street. I need to know

what's going on" and "I would be likely to seek information because the safety of my

school is very important to me."









Twelve percent (n=43) wrote comments that they were likely to seek more

information so that they could "know what's going on" and be "aware" and "informed."

Comments included responses such as "Want to be informed in any situation. knowing

is always better than not knowing."

Eleven percent (n=42) were motivated by personal concern and said that the news

would directly affect them or people close to them. Just 2% (n=6) participants indicated

that they were socially motivated to learn more about the situation. "I liked to be

informed about what we are discussing in class or what others are discussing around

me." Of the students who responded that they were unlikely to seek additional

information, some wrote comments that the situation "did not concern" them or that it

was "none of their business."

The three scenarios and subsequent questions were used to measure the

response to RQ1, Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a source

other than a traditional media organization? Twenty-three percent (n=82) of participants

reported that they would use a newspaper website to obtain more information. In

response to the question about why the participant would use that method to seek

additional information, written comments included that the information on a newspaper

website was accurate, updated regularly, and detailed. In open-ended responses,

participants wrote that the information would be updated more quickly on a website than

in the print edition of the newspaper.

Twenty-two percent (n=79) of participants would use a news portal such as

Google or Yahoo! News to seek additional information about Scenario 1. Respondents

indicated portals were "easy and quick to access," "accurate," "free," and the most










"quickly updated." Several respondents wrote comments that portals allowed them to

quickly seek information from a variety of online sources. They were also able to

compare information for multiple sources as a type of fact checking.

Seventeen percent (n=64) of respondents reported they would turn to a friend to

learn more about the police and fire officer presence near the student union.

Respondents said that campus news traveled quickly via word of mouth, and they would

be likely to learn about the event from a friend. Participants said that they could quickly

and easily get in touch with a friend, and that they would trust information from a friend

to be accurate.

Only 11% (n=39) said they would use a print newspaper source for more

information. Those respondents indicated a newspaper was an easily accessible,

reliable source that would be likely to cover the situation at the student union.

Men and women responded differently when asked where they would seek

information. The most common response of men was to use a portal while the most

common response of women was a newspaper website (see Figure 4-1).

30
S25
I 25 -- *------------------------------

S10
M 10 -
Figure 4-1 Scenario 1 News Source by Gender
M Women





News Source
Figure 4-1. Scenario 1 News Source by Gender









Scenario 2. You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on

campus. When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and there is a notice

on all the counters saying that it has been closed by order of the Health Department.

In Scenario 2, 88% (n=323) of participants reported that obtaining additional

information about the situation was either extremely or somewhat important. There

were no statistically significant differences in the way men and women responded to

their likelihood to seek additional information about Scenario 2. Nearly 85% (n=310) of

all respondents -- 86% (n=68) of men and 84% (n=242) of women -- were likely to seek

more information about the situation. Only 10% (n=37) were unlikely to seek more

information, and none of the respondents was very unlikely to see more information.

Of respondents who said it was likely they would seek more information, the most

common motivation was the health concern of having eaten at a restaurant that was

then closed by the health department. Thirty-three percent (n=123) of respondents

wrote comments they were likely to seek more information because of the possible

threat to their health. They wrote comments such as, "I want to know what happened

because I had eaten there in the past, so the health issues could impact me personally."

Twenty-six percent (n=96) of respondents cited curiosity as the motivation for

seeking additional information about Scenario 2. Respondents wrote that they were

"nosey," "curious," and "want to know more" about the closed restaurant.

Seventeen percent (n=64) wrote comments saying that they would seek additional

information because the situation might directly affect themselves or people close to

them. Some students responded the closing of the restaurant was of interest to them

because the change would affect their routine and daily schedule. They would seek









additional information to determine if and when the restaurant would open again.

The social currency motivation described in the Associated Press survey of young

readers (AP, 2008) was not evident in the responses to this scenario. Only one

respondent wrote a comment saying that discussion about the restaurant closing would

make for good conversation. Of the students who reported that they were unlikely to

seek additional information, the most common motivation was the student was generally

not interested in information about food services or that the student would just go

somewhere else to eat. Some reported they would not want to know unpleasant

information about a restaurant they liked and frequented. For example, "Since the

restaurant is closed for health reasons, I['d] rather not know what caused it, since I used

to eat there."

For Scenario 2, in response to RQ1, Are college students more likely to hear

breaking news from a source other than a traditional media organization?" a traditional

media source was first among the participants' chosen sources. Twenty-six percent

(n=97) of participants reported that a print newspaper would be their primary source for

additional information about a restaurant close by the health department. Participants

wrote a newspaper would provide easy access and accurate information. Several

participants reported they expected to get a greater depth of coverage from a print

newspaper than other sources. Of the participants who included a specific publication

in their written comments, most listed the campus newspaper.

In Scenario 2, 19% (n=71) of respondents reported they would go to a news portal

to seek more information about the situation. Just as in Scenario 1, participants

reported they would use a news portal to find more information because it was easily










accessible and quick. Participants indicated that a news portal also allowed them to

seek information from multiple sources quickly and allowed for comparing information

from those sources.

Nineteen percent (n=68) of respondents to the question reported they would go to

a newspaper website for more information about Scenario 2. These participants wrote

comments saying that a newspaper website would be updated before a print edition

with information about the situation became available. Participants also wrote

comments that a website is also more easily searchable than a print paper. Fourteen

percent (n=53) of participants would seek information from a friend. These participants

wrote that asking a friend would take very little effort and that contacting a friend would

be faster than for the participant to look for information on his or her own. As with

Scenario 1, participants wrote that word of mouth travels quickly.


30
4-a
25
c 20

4 15
m 10

SM1 en
S0 U B m m Women







News Source

Figure 4-2. Scenario 2 News Source by Gender









In Scenario 2, men and women both ranked a print newspaper as their primary

source of new information about the situation. Among men, newspaper websites were

cited second and news portals were cited third. Among women, the second most-cited

source was a news portal, and newspaper websites were the third most-popular

response. Among both men and women, the fourth most-cited response was a friend

(see Figure 4-2).

Scenario 3. You are in your dorm room when your roommate tells you that the

swine flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick.

The H1 N1 swine flu was a health concern on the university campus, as well as

nationally and internationally, during the 2009-2010 school year. In Scenario 3, 80%

(n=295) of participants reported that it was extremely or somewhat important for them to

know more information about the rumored H1 N1 outbreak in a campus residence hall.

Sixty-six percent (n=192) of women and 52% (n=41) of men said that they were very

likely or likely to seek additional information. Twenty-two percent (n=17) of men and

15% (n=42) of women were unlikely to seek additional information.

Of respondents who said they would likely seek more information, the most

common motivation was the concern of being exposed to the H1 N1 flu. Forty percent

(n=147) of respondents reported motivations such as "This problem could directly affect

my health" and "I want to avoid getting sick."

In Scenario 3, respondents reported a motivation not evident in the other two

scenarios. Ten percent (n=38) of participants reported that they'd seek additional

information to learn more about the swine flu, such as the symptoms, the severity of the

strain, and how to prevent catching it. Some participants reported wanting to seek









information about which dorm had the outbreak so they could avoid residents from that

dorm. Those who were not likely to seek more information wrote comments such as, "I

already got the swine flu vaccination" and "The swine flu has been around a while, so it

isn't a big deal."

In Scenarios 1 and 2 curiosity was a strong motivation, but it was not reported in

Scenario 3. Only four respondents indicated that curiosity was the reason they would

seek additional information about the rumor of swine flu in a residence hall.

In response to RQ1 Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a

source other than a traditional media organization?", Scenario 3 was the only scenario

in which college students were most likely to seek information from a friend before

looking to the (traditional?) media. In this scenario, when participants arguably had

easiest access to online information because they were in a dorm room, 22% (n=81) of

respondents reported they would get additional information about the situation from a

friend. These participants reported asking a friend would be the easiest way to get first-

hand, accurate information.

Seventeen percent (n=63) of participants said they would find additional

information about Scenario 3 from a print newspaper. These respondents commented

in their answers to open-ended questions that the print newspaper, specifically the

college newspaper, was likely to cover a campus swine flu outbreak, and the campus

newspaper was free. The students wrote that a print newspaper also was likely to have

accurate information about the situation.

In Scenario 3, 13% (n=48) of participants reported they would get additional

information from a news portal, such as Google or Yahoo! news. Participants wrote










comments about how news portals allowed them to access information from multiple

sources and on a variety of subjects related to the swine flu and its treatment and

prevention.

Thirteen percent (n=46) of respondents reported that they'd get additional

information about Scenario 3 from a newspaper website. Participants wrote that finding

information on a newspaper site would be quick to access and easy to search.

Nineteen percent (n=15) of men and 23% (n=66) of women reported they would

contact friends first to get information about the rumored virus outbreak. After friends,

17% (n=50) of the women listed a print newspaper, and 13% (n=37) reported they

would seek information from an online news portal. After friends, 18% (n=14) of men

were likely to turn to a newspaper website and 16% (n=13) would go to a print

newspaper for more information. Fifteen percent of men (n=12) and 9% of women

(n=25) reported that they would not seek additional information from any of the listed

sources (see Figure 4-3).

30
C
25
C
a 20

-6 15


S5 -Men
n0 Women


P b' ,




News Source

Figure 4-3. Scenario 4-3 News Source by Gender











News Content

Participants were asked how often they accessed news content online in a typical

week. Thirty-two percent (n=118) of respondents indicated they accessed news content

online several times a day while 18% (n=67) accessed news content online once a day.

Fifty percent (n=183) of the respondents reported that they accessed online news

content fewer times than once a day.

Students who responded that they never sought news online were asked why.

Only five of the 368 participants indicated that they never sought news online. The

responses included lack of time and interest in news. The students responded that they

would hear any important information from friends, family, or the print edition of the

campus newspaper.

Participants were asked about their likelihood of accessing each of the following

online sources: national newspaper site, regional/local newspaper site, national

television news site (such as CNN or Fox News), news portal (such as Google News or

Yahoo! News), local television news site, blog, mobile device application (such as an

application for the iPhone or iPod), social networking site (such as Facebook, MySpace

or Twitter), or other (see Table 4-1). Eighty-six percent (n=315) of participants were

somewhat likely, likely, or very likely to use a news portal to seek news content online in

a typical week. Eighty-one percent (n=298) said that they would go to a social

networking site, followed by the 57% (n=210) who would use a national news website.

Thirty-three percent (n=122) of participants reported that of the news options provided

they were the least likely to seek news content online from a local television news site

(see Table 4-1 and Figure 4-4).









An independent-samples t-test compared how men and women responded to the

question about their likelihood of accessing each news source in a typical week, using a

scale including 1 (very unlikely), 2 (unlikely), 3 (somewhat unlikely), 4 (undecided), 5

(somewhat likely), 6 (likely), and 7 (very likely). Men and women reported statistically

significant differences in their likelihood to access only two sources: national TV

websites and social networking websites. Based on their responses, men (M=5.05,

SD=1.50) were more likely than women (M=4.6, SD=1.77) to visit a national television

news website in a typical week (t(359)=2.23, p=.03). Women (M=5.88, SD=1.72) were

more likely than men (M=5.35, SD=1.73) to get news information from a social

networking website in a typical week (t(357)= 2.38, p=.02).

Table 4-1. Online sources and likelihood to access
In a typical week, how likely are you to access the following source of news
content online?
Unlikely (1 =Very unlikely, 2=Unlikely, 3=somewhat unlikely)
Undecided (4 = Undecided)
Likely (5=Somewhat likely, 6=Likely, 7= Very likely)
% %
Online source Likely Undecided Unlikely
News portal (such as Google News or
Yahoo! News)
Social networking site (such as 8
Facebook, MySpace or Twitter)
National television news site (such as
CNN or Fox News)
Regional/local newspaper site 60 5 35
National newspaper site 58 5 37
Blog 36 7 57
Other 36 31 33
Mobile device application (such as an 8 57
application for the iPhone or iPod)
Local television news site 34 7 59











7
6






L_ a 5n m d Women
> 4te

J 2



/ / .,o




News Source

Figure 4-4. Likelihood of Using Each Source in a Typical Week, by Gender



A two-tailed t-test found that women (M=3.77, SD=1.755) reported getting news

content from a college newspaper more days in a typical week than men (M=3.33,

SD=1.723, t(368)=-1.98, p=.05). Women (M=1.35, SD=2.05) reported they sought

news information from the radio more days a week than men (M=.80, SD=1.72, t(368)=-

2.41, p=.02). Women (M=4.42, SD=2.349) reported using friends and family as a

source of news information did so more days in the typical week than men (M=4.42,

SD=2.349; t(367)= -2.99, p=.003).

Use of Devices to Access News

To determine the answer to RQ2: What is the extent to which college students use

a particular device (desktop, laptop or mobile device) to access news content online?,

participants were asked to indicate the number of days in a typical week they used any

of the following devices to access news online desktop computer, laptop computer,

cell phone, or other mobile device (see Table 2). Participants reported using the laptop









computer most often when accessing news content online. Ninety-five percent (n=325)

of those responding to the questions reported they accessed web news using a laptop.

Respondents reported they accessed web news using a laptop an average of 5.1 days

per week. Users of web-enabled cell phones for accessing news contend online

included 42% of respondents (n=155), and respondents reported accessing web news

from their cell phones almost two days a week (1.9 days). Thirty percent (n=108) of

respondents used their desktop computers to access news content online, and

respondents reported using desktops an average of 0.7 days a week to access news

content online. Twelve percent (n=45) indicated using other mobile devices, using those

devices an average of less than one day a week to access news online.

A two-tailed t-test was used to compare the number of days men and women said

they would use each of the devices (desktop computer, laptop computer, web-enabled

cell phone, and other web-enabled mobile device) to access news content online. Men

(M=1.22, SD=2.154) used a desktop computer more than women (M=.61, SD=1.307;

t(359)=2.384, p=.02) (see Table 4-2 and Figure 4-5).

Table 4-2. Device used in accessing news content online
nubr Number of Percentage of the
Average number of
rage u r respondents who respondents who
days used per week
days used per used the device used the device
Laptop computer 5.0 n=325 95%
Cell phone 1.9 n=147 42%
Desktop computer 0.7 n=108 30%
Mobile device* 0.4 n=45 12%
*non-cell, web-enabled mobile device, such as an iPod Touch or Kindle










Men @Women
6.53 6.58




3.30
3.02


1.13 1.03
0.59
0.28

Laptop Cell phone Desktop Other mobile
Device
Figure 4-5. Internet News Access by Device, Gender



Speed of Internet Connection

In response to RQ3, How does a college student's type of home internet

connection (high-speed, dial-up) affect the type of device he/she uses to access news

content online? the overwhelming majority of the respondents (88%, n=323) used a

high-speed, wireless internet connection in their homes, followed by a wired, high-speed

connection (11%, n=39), and with only 1% (n=3) using a dialup connection. Only a

single respondent did not have an internet connection at home. The sample of students

(n=3) who used a dial-up connection was too small for use in statistical analysis.

Feelings about Online News

The survey included question 25, "How comfortable do you consider yourself

accessing news content online?" to gather information about RQ4, "Do college men

perceive themselves more comfortable accessing news content online than college

women?" Among participants who reported they were very or somewhat comfortable

accessing news content online, men (87%, n=67) and women (85%, n=235) responded

similarly. A chi-square test for independence showed no statistical differences in the









way that men and women reported using online and offline sources to find information in

a breaking news scenario.

The survey included question 28, "How would you describe your feelings toward

news content online?" to gather information about RQ5, "Do college men have a more

positive attitude toward accessing online news content than college women?" A t-test

found that when reporting their "feelings" about news online on a five-point scale from 1

(positive/strongly like) to 5 (negative/strongly dislike), men (M=1.63, SD=.737) reported

slightly more positive feelings about online news than women (M=1.82, SD=.750;

t(366)=-2.009, p=.045).

When asked what they liked about accessing news content online, the

participants' most common responses were that online news was fast, convenient, and

free. In their open-ended responses, students wrote that online news was updated

frequently and always accessible. Instead of having to wait for a television news story

of interest, students wrote that they could search for the story immediately online.

Reading news online also helped students share news with the ability to copy, paste,

and forward links to others.

As for the reason that students disliked online news, the most common complaint

was eye strain caused by looking at a screen. Students were also concerned that

online sources may not be as credible as other news sources. Some students said that

without a mobile device to access the web, they had to be near a computer to get news

online, and in those cases, a newspaper was more portable for on-the-go reading of the

news. Several students noted that online they could be easily distracted by e-mail or

social networking. Several noted that they could be overwhelmed by the volume of









news information online and the fact that it was constantly updated. Some students

remarked that they preferred the feeling of a newspaper in their hands, or that the print

newspaper had a "cool factor" to it. As the participants were all communications

students, several noted that they disliked online news because it was responsible for a

decrease in the number of jobs for print journalists, and they were concerned about the

future of print newspapers.









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

This study was conducted during fall semester 2009 and spring semester 2010

with undergraduate communications students in an introductory media writing course in

a large public university in the southeast. The study was designed to examine news-

seeking behavior of Millennial college students and to see what trends could be

determined.

News Sources

The results of this study showed the blur between traditional media and new

media outlets. When the students in the study were asked to select the media source

they would use in finding out more information on the three news scenarios presented,

the top four choices were the same for all three scenarios print newspaper, online

news portal, print newspaper website, and a friend. But of the three media news

sources cited, only one, the print newspaper, was a traditional news source. The other

two media sources an online news portal and a print newspaper website represent

"new" news sources, often replacing or complementing traditional news sources. In

most cases, students did report that they would seek news outlets to find more

information about a news event; however, they said they would go online to find those

news sources. Traditional news organizations, such as newspapers and television and

radio stations, need to be aware that their online product is going to be the source

Millennials are checking for news, not their traditional outlet.

Very few students in the study responded that they would turn to television or a

television website to learn more information about the scenarios in the questionnaire.

But only one student in the sample was majoring in telecommunication. As only a









single telecommunications student was included in the study, the results may be

different if more of these students were included. And a general population of college

students, versus communications majors, may have responded differently in terms of

using television news. In evaluating whether they would want to know more information

for sample news scenarios, the vast majority of the students reported that they would

seek more information about all three of the scenarios. They noted being motivated by

curiosity and the desire to know more about their environment, and they were

particularly interested in learning more about those issues that could affect them

personally. The implication is that local media need to capitalize on that desire to learn

more and focus on providing that hyperlocal coverage, reporting the news that would

drive Millennials to the web to learn more, particularly about local news events, such as

those used in the three scenarios.

In Scenario 3, students mentioned an information-gathering motivation that wasn't

evident in the comments for the other two scenarios. Students wrote they were likely to

seek more information about a swine flu outbreak in the dorms not to get more

information about the situation on campus but to learn more about the flu symptoms

and tips for prevention. Media organizations could increase the usability of their online

articles and take advantage of the benefits of online functionality by linking articles to

useful information for readers. For example, an article about the swine flu could include

a sidebar with links to the Centers for Disease Control website for additional swine flu

information. An article about a restaurant closed by the Health Department could link to

restaurant inspection reports online. Connecting users to additional information might









provide the added functionality and usability to a media organization's website that

would encourage users to make it one of their most-used sites.

Device Use and Accessing News Online

An important finding of this study was confirming how students accessed news

online. Fifty-one percent of the college students in this study accessed news content

online at least once daily, and nearly a third accessed news content online several

times a day. Only five of the 368 participants reported never seeking news content

online. Laptop computers were the most-often-used devices among the study's sample

for accessing news online. Ninety-five percent of the study's participants used a laptop

computer at least one day a week to access news content online. Participants used a

laptop an average of 5.1 days per week to access news content online.

The second most-used way of accessing news online was with a web-enabled cell

phone. Forty-two percent of the participants used a web-enabled phone to access news

content. Almost every day they used their phones to access the web, they also looked

at news content online. These results indicate that the Millennials in this study were

seeking news in a mobile way on their laptops, smart phones, or other web-enabled

mobile devices more than five days a week, again supporting the importance of

delivering news in an up-to-the-minute manner for immediate news access.

In his blog post "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable" (March 13, 2009),

Clay Shirky compared the changes in news control and distribution caused by the

printing press to changes caused by modern technology advancements, from the

internet providing a new news delivery system to Craigslist changing the newspaper

business model. The results of this study of college students in 2009 and 2010 and









their news-seeking behavior supports Shirky's premise that a revolution in news

acquisition was underway.

Among the students who participated in this study, mobile applications or "apps,"

such as those for the iPhone or iPod Touch, were not widely used. Before Apple

started presale of its new iPad mobile tablet device in March 2010 for an April release,

media organizations were already working to develop content for the iPad device

(Luckie, 2010). The larger screen size of the iPad may combat some of the eye-strain

problems students noted in accessing news content online. The iPad also will provide

competition to other tablet readers, such as Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's

Nook, which have provided news content. These tablet devices can also provide a news

navigation system that will be easier to use for readers. Also, release of new mobile

devices and web-enabled cell phones may decrease device prices and make some of

them more affordable to a larger population.

The Robinson and Dodd (2006) research found that students don't always know

the power of the devices they own. Mass communications instructors want their

students to be avid news readers, so including information about how to use online tools

such as RSS readers and devices such as web-enabled cell phones and other mobile

devices in their classes might encourage students to seek news online in ways they

hadn't before.

Gender and News Online

This study did not find a significant difference in men and women's comfort

accessing online news sources. Both in their responses to the question about their

comfort seeking news online and in examining the sources that men and women said

they would access in a breaking news scenario, men did not report being more









comfortable online nor being more likely to use an online source than women. This

finding may indicate that in a generation where use of computers and the internet is so

ubiquitous that both genders have had the opportunity to become comfortable in using

computer technology.

Both women and men reported overwhelmingly positive feelings toward online

news content. Participants wrote comments about what they liked and disliked about

online news content revealed that students liked the ease with which they could find

news online, the quickness with which news content was posted online, and the

availability of news from multiple sources. They disliked eye strain from reading online

and the overwhelming amount of information and the number of sources online. They

were concerned about the accuracy of information posted online and the credibility of

the sources of news information.

In designing online news content, news organizations should develop an online

delivery of news in that way that reduces eye strain. News websites should be

designed so that they are easy to navigate both with the visual design of the page and

with search functions. For the students participating in this study, 85% of respondents

reported that they were likely to use a news portal in a typical week to find news content

online. The popularity of news portals may be in part due to their design, which does not

follow the newspaper page design that many newspapers have used in creating their

online news sites. Portals also compile stories from many different sources in a single,

online location, making it very easy to check a variety of sources through a single site.

In 2010, Pew research (Purcell et al., 2010) found that people used multiple

platforms to get their news information. Similarly, students in this study wrote









comments saying that they were still reading a print newspaper in addition to reading

news online. Some valued the paper product for what one student called "the cool

factor" of holding the print edition of a newspaper. Other students commented that they

liked the portability of a print newspaper because they weren't using mobile device

technology to access news content. Most students in the study were regular readers of

the free campus newspaper. Newspaper organizations will need to keep in mind that,

as they increase the use of the online medium, that some readers, both in the Millennial

and other generations, still prefer a print product.

The survey findings also have implications for college communications programs.

The communication students in this study were comfortable using the internet to search

for and access information. Communications instructors could take advantage of

students' access to the internet to provide course materials in a format that students can

access both on a desktop or laptop computer and on a mobile device such as a web-

enabled cell phone or the iPod Touch. Students in this study were online for a variety of

reasons many wrote comments saying they liked online news because they could

access it quickly when they had gone online for email, instant messaging, or to log on to

a social network site. Communications programs should use this information to reach

students where they are online on their laptops or cell phones. Knowing that so many

students have and use their laptops and cell phones to access the internet may mean

that a university could implement a method that uses those devices to notify students of

breaking news events that could affect them on campus.

Beyond using mobile devices and online materials, this has course content

implications. If the Millennials are obtaining news primarily from news portals and social









network sites, the communications curriculum should include how to prepare and

present news for those delivery methods. Newspapers and other traditional media

organizations are hiring fewer new employees and, beginning in about 2005, were

laying off their current employees. So the jobs for new communications graduates for

producing news may be with news portals and social networking organizations. A

curriculum that reflects the changes in media acquisition and expectations can help

current graduates be competitive for job opportunities.

Qualities of Online News

College students in this study supported what the young people in the 2008

Associated Press study reported. They wanted depth from their news coverage.

Participants wrote comments saying they disliked online news content that was posted

quickly without details or updated frequently without adding new or substantial details.

Students in this study reported being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of news

information available online, but they were disappointed when multiple stories covered

the same set of limited details in an effort to have something posted to the web quickly.

The implication for news organizations is the importance of prompt posting of updated

news stories on the organization's website. Quickly posting breaking news information

was not enough for the participants in this study. They indicated that they would

continue to seek updated information about a situation, so they needed news sites that

would continue to add information as it became available. Readers in this study were

also concerned about stories being accurate. News websites that have accurate

information will build a following. The study indicated that students would appreciate a

site that indicates when it has made a mistake or had posted corrected information.









The students in the survey also wanted online content to be easily searchable.

They complained that they could become overwhelmed by the amount of information

available online, and they had trouble, at times, finding the news information they were

seeking. One student wrote, "There is so much information and it is sometimes difficult

to sort through it all and find the best place for information." News organizations need

to model online sites in ways that make it easy to find breaking news information. Many

newspaper websites began as an online site that mimicked the printed newspaper

page, but it may be time to move away from that model to one that is more streamlined

for the needs of the online audience. News organizations, even those that restrict

archive access to subscribers or registered users, need to provide easily searchable

archives or the ability to tag articles for easier searching. Offering users a way to tag or

bookmark articles of interest would make it easier for users to find those articles later.

Many in the study received or shared news content with friends, so a way to share

bookmarked stories might be of interest to this group.

As Flavian and Gurrea (2008) reported, people tend to go to only few sites and to

sites that are the most user friendly and familiar to them when they are in search of

news information. A news organization's online site that provides depth of coverage,

frequently updates news stories, posts accurate information and makes prompt

corrections, and is easy to search desired could become one of go-to news sources this

population's participants would use for news.

Internet Connection

Internet connection speed was not an issue among the students in this study, as

98% of the participants had wired high-speed or wireless high-speed connections. Only

three of the 368 survey participants had a dial-up internet connection, Based on this









almost universal access to high-speed internet that news consumers, at least the news

consumers in this study, have, news organizations can create online news content,

such as video or audio files, that requires high-speed access without leaving behind

these readers. In their current home and school setups, students were prepared with

the high-speed connection that greater functionality would require. News organizations

should work to provide content, such as photos galleries and video, that goes beyond

what is available in a print-only medium.

Future Research

The participants in this study were all communications students, who arguably had

a vested interest in news delivery and consumption. News consumption habits and the

motivations to seek news information may be different in this sample than in a sample

that included a wider variety of majors. Future research could expand the sample to

look at students in several different colleges at the university or to look at students from

several different universities.

Future research should also look at a larger population of Millennials outside the

college environment. The students in this study attended a university that required every

student to have access to a computer. That university computer requirement, which was

reinforced by a computer requirement in the communications college, meant that the

students in this study were very likely to have a computer. In addition, the university

provided wireless access with the use of a university computer account, and the city

itself provided wireless access locations, in addition to apartment complexes and

businesses, thus promoting the use of portable web-enabled laptops and cell phones.

A larger, random-sample study of media use by Millennials could also examine

differences in Millennials who have and have not attended college. By expanding the









study to the larger population of Millennials through a larger random sample study,

researchers could see how results are affected by ubiquitous wireless access and by

level of education.

Additionally, research using a larger random sample could examine the way men

and women approach technology related to news content on the internet. If so, college

instructors and media organizations do not need to worry about female students' self

efficacy with technology because men and women showed no difference in their comfort

using online sources.

Finally, on-going research on the diffusion of mobile devices to access news

content is needed to follow changes in the use of mobile devices and predict trends.

While mobile devices such as the iPod Touch and Kindle were not widely used in this

study, the release of new devices such as the iPad make mobile devices a valuable

potential market for media organizations and long-term research about news

consumption using mobile devices is warranted. Ongoing research on Millennials' use

of technology and news-seeking behavior can help document and predict adoption

trends.









APPENDIX A
SURVEY INSTRUMENT

1. What is your section number?

2. What is your gender?
1 Male
2 Female

3. What is your age?

4. What is your academic status?
1 Freshman
2 Sophomore
3 Junior
4 Senior
5 Other

5. What is your major?
1 Advertising
2 Journalism
3 Public relations
4 Other

Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page.

Scenario 1: You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police
cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and
firefighters in the area, but you can't see an obvious reason why they are there
and you aren't able to ask the officers what is happening.

6. How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening?
1 Extremely important
2 Somewhat important
3 Neither important or unimportant
4 Somewhat unimportant
5 Not at all important

7. How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation?
1 Very likely
2 Likely
3 Somewhat likely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat unlikely
6 Unlikely
7 Very unlikely









8. Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information?


9. What method would you use to seek additional information?
1 Blog
2 Family member/parents
3 Friend
4 Mobile device application
5 Print newspaper
6 Newspaper Web site
7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News)
8 Radio
9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace)
10 Television
11 Television station Web site
12 Twitter
13 Text message
14 Other
15 I would not seek additional information about the situation

10. Why would you respond in that way?

Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page.

Scenario 2: You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on
campus. When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and there is a
notice on all the counters saying that it has been closed by order of the Health
Department.

11. How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening?
1 Extremely important
2 Somewhat important
3 Neither important or unimportant
4 Somewhat unimportant
5 Not at all important

12. How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation?
1 Very likely
2 Likely
3 Somewhat likely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat unlikely
6 Unlikely
7 Very unlikely

13. Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information?









14. What method would you use to seek additional information?
1 Blog
2 Family member/parents
3 Friend
4 Mobile device application
5 Print newspaper
6 Newspaper Web site
7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News)
8 Radio
9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace)
10 Television
11 Television station Web site
12 Twitter
13 Text message
14 Other
15 I would not seek additional information about the situation

15. Why would you respond in that way?

Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page.

Scenario 3: You are in your dorm room when your roommate tells you that the
swine flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick.

16. How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening?
1 Extremely important
2 Somewhat important
3 Neither important or unimportant
4 Somewhat unimportant
5 Not at all important

17. How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation?
1 Very likely
2 Likely
3 Somewhat likely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat unlikely
6 Unlikely
7 Very unlikely

18. Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information?









19. What method would you use to seek additional information?
1 Blog
2 Family member/parents
3 Friend
4 Mobile device application
5 Print newspaper
6 Newspaper Web site
7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News)
8 Radio
9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace)
10 Television
11 Television station Web site
12 Twitter
13 Text message
14 Other
15 I would not seek additional information about the situation

20. Why would you respond in that way?


The following questions ask about your experience using the Internet to access
news content online. For the purpose of the questions on this page, consider
"news content" as information about recent and important events, not including
entertainment or celebrity news.

21. In a typical week, how often do you access news content via the Internet?
1 Several times a day
2 Once a day
3 5+ times a week
4 3-4 times a week
5 1-2 times a week
6 Less than once a week
7 Never

22. If never, why not?

23. In a typical week, how many days do you use each of the following devices to
access online news content?
1 Desktop computer
2 Laptop computer
3 Cell phone with access to the Internet
4 Other mobile device with access to the Internet (such as an iPod Touch)











24. In a typical week, how likely are you to access the following source of news content
online?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Question Very Uny Somewhat Und d Somewhat y Very
Unlikely Unlikely Unlikely Undecided Likely Likely Likely
National newspaper site 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Regional/local newspaper E D D
site
National television news
site (such as CNN or Fox O O O O O O O
News)
News portal (such as
Google News or Yahoo! O O O O O O O
News)
Local television news site 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Blog 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mobile device application
(such as an application for 0 O O O O O O
the iPhone or iPod)
Social networking site
(such as Facebook, O O O O O O O
MySpace or Twitter)
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

25. How comfortable do you consider yourself accessing news content online?
1 Very comfortable
2 Somewhat comfortable
3 Neutral
4 Somewhat uncomfortable
5 Very uncomfortable

26. What do you like about accessing news online?

27. What do you dislike about accessing news online?

28. How would you describe your feelings toward news content online?
1 Positive/strongly like
2 Like
3 Neutral
4 Dislike
5 Negative/strongly dislike










29. How many days in a typical week do you get news from the following sources?
College newspaper
Local/regional newspaper
National newspaper
Radio
Television
Family/friends
Online source
Other
Source, other text

The following questions ask about the type of Internet access you have at your
home and outside your home. For the purpose of questions 16 through 18,
consider "home" the place you live while attending UF.

30. Which of the following types of Internet connections do you have at your home?
1 Dial-up
2 High-speed
3 High-speed, wireless/Wi-Fi
4 Other
5 None I do not have an Internet connection at my home

31. In a typical week, where do you use high-speed Internet outside your home?
1 School/campus
2 Work
3 Friend/family home
4 Public library
5 Internet cafe
6 Other
7 N/A I do not use high-speed Internet on a weekly basis outside my home.

32. In a typical week, how many days do you use high-speed Internet outside your
home?
Do 0D1 2 D3 D4 D5 D6 07

33. In a typical week, where do you use wireless Internet outside your home?
1 School/campus
2 Work
3 Friend/family home
4 Public library
5 Internet cafe
6 Other
7 N/A I do not use wireless Internet on a weekly basis outside my home.









34. In a typical week, how many days do you access Wi-Fi/wireless Internet outside
your home?
Do 01 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 07

The following questions ask about the type of devices you own or regularly use.
For the purpose of the questions on this page, think about the devices you use in
a typical week they might include your personal equipment or something you
use at work/school/friend's home/etc.

35. Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use? (Select all that
apply)
Desktop computer
Laptop computer
Cell phone with access to the Web
Mobile device (other than a cell phone) with access to the Web (such as an iPod
Touch or Kindle)
Other
None

36. How long have you used the following devices on a weekly basis?
Que n Less than a 1-3 3-7 More than seven
Question
year years years years
Desktop computer D D D D
Laptop computer D D D D
Cell phone D D D D
Other mobile 1 -1 -1
device

37. In a typical week, how many days do you use each of the following devices to
access the Internet?
Desktop computer
Laptop computer
Cell phone
Other mobile device









APPENDIX B
VARIABLE DEFINITIONS


Variable Question and responses
3 What is your gender?
1 Male
2 Female
4 What is your age?
5 What is your academic status?
1 Freshman
2 Sophomore
3 Junior
4 Senior
5 Other
5Text Academic status, Other
6 What is your major?
1 Advertising
2 Journalism
3 Public relations
4 Other
6Text Major, Other
Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page.

Scenario 1: You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police
cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and
firefighters in the area, but you can't see an obvious reason why they are there and
you aren't able to ask the officers what is happening.
7 How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening?
1 Extremely important
2 Somewhat important
3 Neither important or unimportant
4 Somewhat unimportant
5 Not at all important
8 How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation?
1 Very likely
2 Likely
3 Somewhat likely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat unlikely
6 Unlikely
7 Very unlikely
9 Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information?
10 What method would you use to seek additional information?
1 Blog
2 Family member/parents
3 Friend
4 Mobile device application









5 Print newspaper
6 Newspaper Web site
7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News)
8 Radio
9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace)
10 Television
11 Television station Web site
12 Twitter
13 Text message
14 Other
15 I would not seek additional information about the situation
10Text Method, Other
11 Why would you respond that way?
Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page.

Scenario 2: You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on campus.
When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and there is a notice on all
the counters saying that it has been closed by order of the Health Department.
12 How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening?
1 Extremely important
2 Somewhat important
3 Neither important or unimportant
4 Somewhat unimportant
5 Not at all important
13 How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation?
1 Very likely
2 Likely
3 Somewhat likely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat unlikely
6 Unlikely
7 Very unlikely
14 Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information?
15 What method would you use to seek additional information?
1 Blog
2 Family member/parents
3 Friend
4 Mobile device application
5 Print newspaper
6 Newspaper Web site
7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News)
8 Radio
9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace)
10 Television
11 Television station Web site
12 Twitter









13 Text message
14 Other
15 I would not seek additional information about the situation
15Text Method, Other
16 Why would you respond that way?
Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page.

Scenario 3: You are in your dorm room when your roommate tells you that the
swine flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick.
17 How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening?
1 Extremely important
2 Somewhat important
3 Neither important or unimportant
4 Somewhat unimportant
5 Not at all important
18 How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation?
1 Very likely
2 Likely
3 Somewhat likely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat unlikely
6 Unlikely
7 Very unlikely
19 Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information?
20 What method would you use to seek additional information?
1 Blog
2 Family member/parents
3 Friend
4 Mobile device application
5 Print newspaper
6 Newspaper Web site
7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News)
8 Radio
9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace)
10 Television
11 Television station Web site
12 Twitter
13 Text message
14 Other
15 I would not seek additional information about the situation
20Text Method, Other
21 Why would you respond that way?
The following questions ask about your experience using the Internet to access
news content online. For the purpose of the questions on this page, consider
"news content" as information about recent and important events, not including
entertainment or celebrity news.









22 In a typical week, how often do you access news content via the Internet?
1 Several times a day
2 Once a day
3 5+ times a week
4 3-4 times a week
5 1-2 times a week
6 Less than once a week
7 Never
23 If never, why not?
In a typical week, how many days do you use each of the following devices to access
online news content?
24 Desktop computer
25 Laptop computer
26 Cell phone with access to the Internet
27 Other mobile device with access to the Internet (such as an iPod Touch)
In a typical week, how likely are you to access the following source of news content
online?
28 National newspaper site
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
29 Regional/local newspaper site
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
30 National television news site (such as CNN or Fox News)
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
31 News portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News)
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided









5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
32 Local television news site
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
33 Blog
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
34 Mobile device application (such as an application for the iPhone or iPod)
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
35 Social networking site (such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter)
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
36 Other
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Somewhat unlikely
4 Undecided
5 Somewhat likely
6 Likely
7 Very likely
36Text News source, Other
37 How comfortable do you consider yourself accessing news content online?
1 Very comfortable









2 Somewhat comfortable
3 Neutral
4 Somewhat uncomfortable
5 Very uncomfortable
38 What do you like about accessing news online?
39 What do you dislike about accessing news content online?
40 How would you describe your feelings toward news content online?
1 Positive/strongly like
2 Like
3 Neutral
4 Dislike
5 Negative/strongly dislike
The following question asks about the sources (both online and off) where you get your
news content. For the purpose of the following question, consider "news content" as
information about recent and important events, not including entertainment or celebrity
news.
How many days in a typical week do you get news from the following sources?
41 College newspaper
42 Local/regional newspaper
43 National newspaper
44 Radio
45 Television
46 Family/friends
47 Online source
48 Other
48Text Source, other text
The following questions ask about the type of Internet access you have at your
home and outside your home. For the purpose of questions 16 through 18,
consider "home" the place you live while attending UF.
49 Which of the following types of Internet connections do you have at your
home?
1 Dial-up
2 High-speed
3 High-speed, wireless/Wi-Fi
4 Other
5 None I do not have an Internet connection at my home
49Text Connection, Other text
50 In a typical week, where do you use high-speed Internet outside your home?
1 School/campus
2 Work
3 Friend/family home
4 Public library
5 Internet cafe
6 Other
7 N/A I do not use high-speed Internet on a weekly basis outside my
home.









50Text High speed, Other text
51 In a typical week, how many days do you use high-speed Internet outside your
home?
52 In a typical week, where do you use wireless Internet outside your home?
1 School/campus
2 Work
3 Friend/family home
4 Public library
5 Internet cafe
6 Other
7 N/A I do not use wireless Internet on a weekly basis outside my home.
52Text Where, other text
53 In a typical week, how many days do you access Wi-Fi/wireless Internet
outside your home?
The following questions ask about the type of devices you own or regularly use.
For the purpose of the questions on this page, think about the devices you use in a
typical week they might include your personal equipment or something you use
at work/school/friend's home/etc.
54 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use?
Desktop computer
55 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use?
Laptop computer
56 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use?
Cell phone with access to the Web
57 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use?
Mobile device (other than a cell phone) with access to the Web (such as an
iPod Touch or Kindle)
57Text Mobile, text
58 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use?
Other
59 Other, text
60 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use?
None
How long have you used the following devices on a weekly basis?
61 Desktop computer
1 Less than a year
2 1-3 years
3 3-7 years
4 More than 7 years
62 Laptop computer
1 Less than a year
2 1-3 years
3 3-7 years
4 More than 7 years
63 Cell phone
1 Less than a year









2 1-3 years
3 3-7 years
4 More than 7 years
64 Other mobile device
1 Less than a year
2 1-3 years
3 3-7 years
4 More than 7 years
64Text Mobile, other text
In a typical week, how may days do you use each of the following devices to access the
Internet?
65 Desktop computer
66 Laptop computer
67 Cell phone
68 Other mobile device
68Text Mobile, Other text











APPENDIX C
FREQUENCY TABLES


Gender


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 79 21.5
2 289 78.5
Total 368 100.0


Ages all


Frequency Percent
Valid 17 1 .3
18 39 10.6

19 183 49.7
20 109 29.6
21 22 6.0

22 7 1.9
23 3 .8
24 2 .5

30 1 .3
31 1 .3
Total 368 100.0



Age removing outliers


Frequency Percent
Valid 18 39 10.8
19 183 50.8

20 109 30.3
21 22 6.1
22 7 1.9

Total 360 100.0


Age outliers


Frequency Percent
Valid 17 1 12.5
23 3 37.5
24 2 25.0

30 1 12.5
31 1 12.5
Total 8 100.0


Academic status


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 46 12.5
2 218 59.2

3 103 28.0
4 1 .3
Total 368 100.0


Major


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 122 33.2
2 116 31.5
3 117 31.8
4 13 3.5

Total 368 100.0


V7


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 .3
1 141 38.3
2 195 53.0

3 22 6.0
4 9 2.4
Total 368 100.0














Frequency Percent
Valid 2 .5
1 119 32.3

2 131 35.6
3 81 22.0
4 12 3.3

5 15 4.1
6 8 2.2
Total 368 100.0


V10


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 5 1.4
2 6 1.6
3 64 17.4
4 10 2.7
5 39 10.6
6 82 22.3
7 79 21.5
8 2 .5
9 20 5.4
10 16 4.3
11 4 1.1
12 3 .8
13 18 4.9
14 20 5.4
Total 368 100.0


V12


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 163 44.3
2 160 43.5
3 33 9.0

4 11 3.0
5 1 .3
Total 368 100.0


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 144 39.1
2 95 25.8

3 71 19.3
4 21 5.7
5 25 6.8

6 11 3.0
7 1 .3
Total 368 100.0


V15


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 1 .3
2 4 1.1
3 53 14.4
4 5 1.4
5 97 26.4
6 68 18.5
7 71 19.3
9 8 2.2
10 7 1.9
12 1 .3
13 9 2.4
14 26 7.1
15 18 4.9
Total 368 100.0


V17


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 179 48.6
2 117 31.8

3 37 10.1
4 21 5.7
5 14 3.8

Total 368 100.0














Frequency Percent
Valid 1 156 42.4
2 77 20.9

3 57 15.5
4 19 5.2
5 24 6.5

6 21 5.7
7 14 3.8
Total 368 100.0


V20


Frequency Percent
Valid 3 .8
1 1 .3
2 4 1.1
3 81 22.0
4 4 1.1
5 63 17.1
6 46 12.5
7 48 13.0
9 20 5.4
10 10 2.7
13 10 2.7
14 41 11.1
15 37 10.1
Total 368 100.0


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 118 32.1
2 67 18.2

3 30 8.2
4 60 16.3
5 64 17.4

6 24 6.5
7 5 1.4
Total 368 100.0


V24 Desktop computer


Frequency Percent
Valid 6 1.7
0 253 70.1
1 48 13.3
2 25 6.9
3 11 3.0
4 7 1.9
5 5 1.4
6 1 .3
7 11 3.0
Total 361 100.0


n=361 M=0.739612


V24 Desktop computer (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Invalid 10 1 100.0
Total 1 100.0











V25 Laptop computer


Frequency Percent
Valid 5 1.5
0 16 4.7
1 26 7.6
2 32 9.4
3 23 6.7
4 20 5.9
5 43 12.6
6 11 3.2
7 170 49.9
Total 341 101.5

n=341 M=5.014663

V25 Laptop computer (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 8 1 4.5
10 8 36.4
14 2 9.1
15 1 4.5
20 3 13.6
21 1 4.5
25 1 4.5
30 2 9.1
35 1 4.5
50 1 4.5
100 1 4.5
Total 22 100.0


V26 Cell phone


Frequency Percent
Valid 6 1.7
0 207 58.5

1 22 6.2
2 19 5.4
3 15 4.2

4 5 1.4
5 24 6.8
6 2 .6

7 60 16.9
Total 354 100.0

n=354 M=1.912429

V26 Cell phone (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 8 1 12.5

10 3 37.5
100 2 25.0
20 1 12.5

25 1 12.5
Total 8 100.0


V27 Other mobile device


Frequency Percent
Valid 5 1.4

0 317 87.6
1 13 3.6
2 3 .8
3 8 2.2

4 7 1.9
5 4 1.1
6 2 .6

7 8 2.2
Total 362 100.0

n=362 M=0.439227











V27 Other mobile device (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 50 1 100.0
Total 1 100.0


V28


Frequency Percent
Valid 5 1.4
1 31 8.4

2 49 13.3
3 55 14.9
4 18 4.9

5 85 23.1
6 53 14.4
7 72 19.6

Total 368 100.0


V29


Frequency Percent
Valid 11 3.0

1 34 9.2

2 38 10.3
3 53 14.4
4 17 4.6

5 111 30.2
6 65 17.7
7 39 10.6
Total 368 100.0


Frequency Percent
Valid 9 2.4
1 18 4.9

2 29 7.9
3 55 14.9
4 25 6.8

5 103 28.0
6 71 19.3
7 58 15.8

Total 368 100.0


V31


Frequency Percent
Valid 8 2.2

1 9 2.4
2 16 4.3
3 15 4.1

4 5 1.4
5 57 15.5
6 95 25.8

7 163 44.3
Total 368 100.0


V32


Frequency Percent
Valid 7 1.9

1 65 17.7
2 79 21.5
3 68 18.5
4 27 7.3

5 76 20.7
6 29 7.9
7 17 4.6

Total 368 100.0














Frequency Percent
Valid 10 2.7
1 86 23.4

2 58 15.8
3 61 16.6
4 25 6.8

5 61 16.6
6 41 11.1
7 26 7.1

Total 368 100.0


V34


Frequency Percent
Valid 8 2.2

1 126 34.2
2 54 14.7
3 24 6.5

4 29 7.9
5 37 10.1
6 39 10.6

7 51 13.9
Total 368 100.0


V35


Frequency Percent
Valid 11 3.0

1 20 5.4
2 12 3.3
3 13 3.5
4 14 3.8

5 48 13.0
6 71 19.3
7 179 48.6

Total 368 100.0


Frequency Percent
Valid 326 88.6
1 9 2.4

2 1 .3
3 4 1.1
4 13 3.5

5 6 1.6
6 2 .5
7 7 1.9

Total 368 100.0


V37


Frequency Percent
Valid 9 2.4

1 243 66.0
2 59 16.0
3 16 4.3

4 9 2.4
5 32 8.7
Total 368 100.0


V40


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 146 39.7
2 162 44.0
3 54 14.7

4 6 1.6
Total 368 100.0











V41 Days College newspaper


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 23 6.3
1 26 7.1

2 54 14.7
3 44 12.0
4 55 14.9

5 147 39.9
Total 349 100.0

n-349 M=3.498567

V41 Days College newspaper


Frequency Percent
Valid 6 2 10.0

7 17 90.0
Total 19 100.0


V42 Days Locallregional newspaper


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 250 67.9
1 42 11.4
2 30 8.2

3 21 5.7

4 5 1.4
5 12 3.3
6 3 .8

7 5 1.4
Total 368 100.0


V43 Days National newspaper


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 234 63.6
1 28 7.6

2 26 7.1
3 18 4.9
4 17 4.6

5 21 5.7
6 3 .8
7 21 5.7

Total 368 100.0


V44 Days Radio


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 231 62.8
1 27 7.3
2 35 9.5

3 22 6.0
4 13 3.5
5 20 5.4

6 3 .8
7 17 4.6

Total 368 100.0


V45 Days Television


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 87 23.6
1 32 8.7

2 48 13.0
3 61 16.6
4 44 12.0

5 32 8.7
6 11 3.0
7 52 14.1
Total 368 100.0

n=368 M=2.953804











V46 Days Family/friends


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 47 12.8
1 18 4.9

10 1 .3
2 33 9.0
3 47 12.8

4 41 11.1
5 51 13.9
6 13 3.5

7 117 31.8
Total 368 100.0


n=368 M=4.214674


V47 Days Online source


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 43 11.7

1 17 4.6
10 1 .3
2 34 9.2
20 1 .3

3 27 7.3

4 35 9.5
5 47 12.8
6 20 5.4

7 142 38.6
8 1 .3
Total 368 100.0


n=368 M=4.600543


V48 Days Other


Frequency Percent
Valid 0 366 99.5
2 1 .3

4 1 .3
Total 368 100.0


n=368 M=0.016304


V49


Frequency Percent
Valid 2 .5

1 3 .8
2 38 10.3
3 321 87.2

4 3 .8
5 1 .3
Total 368 100.0


V50 Where high speed used outside
home


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 .3
1 265 72.0

2 8 2.2
3 28 7.6
4 16 4.3

5 3 .8
6 9 2.4
7 38 10.3

Total 368 100.0


100











V51 High speed outside home


Frequency Percent
Valid 2 .7
2 50 18.7

3 32 11.9
4 49 18.3
5 50 18.7

6 35 13.1
7 52 19.4
Total 268 100.0


n=268 M=4.537313


V51 High speed outside home (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 8 16 16.3

9 82 83.7
Total 98 100.0


V52 Where wireless used outside home


Frequency Percent
Valid 3 .8
1 297 80.7

2 3 .8
3 20 5.4
4 12 3.3

5 6 1.6
6 8 2.2
7 19 5.2

Total 368 100.0


V53 -Wireless outside home


Frequency Percent
Valid 3 10.3
1 26 89.7
Total 29 100.0



V53 -Wireless outside home (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 8 26 7.7
9 51 15.0
10 47 13.9
11 45 13.3
12 54 15.9
13 21 6.2
14 95 28.0
Total 339 100.0


V54 Own desktop


Frequency Percent
Valid 275 74.7

1 93 25.3

Total 368 100.0


V55 Own laptop


Frequency Percent
Valid 12 3.3

1 356 96.7
Total 368 100.0


V56 Own cell phone with web


Frequency Percent
Valid 191 51.9
1 177 48.1
Total 368 100.0











V57 Own other mobile device


Frequency Percent
Valid 319 86.7

1 49 13.3

Total 368 100.0


V58 Own other


Frequency Percent
Valid 364 98.9

1 4 1.1

Total 368 100.0


V59


Frequency Percent
Valid 364 98.9

Cell 1 .3
phone
with no
access
to web
cell 1 .3
phone
without
web
access?
cell- 1 .3
phone
without
internet
Kindle 1 .3
e-
reader
Total 368 100.0


V60 Own none


Frequency Percent
Valid 367 99.7

1 1 .3

Total 368 100.0


V61 Length of use Desktop


Frequency Percent
Valid 102 27.7

1 36 9.8

2 22 6.0

3 59 16.0

4 149 40.5

Total 368 100.0


V62 Length of use Laptop


Frequency Percent
Valid 5 1.4

1 16 4.3

2 186 50.5

3 123 33.4

4 38 10.3

Total 368 100.0


V63 Length of use Cell phone


Frequency Percent
Valid 48 13.0

1 36 9.8

2 63 17.1

3 159 43.2

4 62 16.8

Total 368 100.0


V64 Length of use Mobile device


Frequency Percent
Valid 315 85.6

1 33 9.0

2 11 3.0

3 5 1.4

4 4 1.1

Total 368 100.0


102











V65 Days to access web Desktop


Frequency Percent
Valid 2 .5
0 245 67.1
1 32 8.8
2 23 6.3
3 22 6.0
4 12 3.3
5 12 3.3
6 1 .3
7 18 4.9
Total 365 100.0


n=365 M=1.052055


V65 Days to access web Desktop (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 10 1 100.0
Total 1 100.0


V66 Days to access web Laptop


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 .3
0 10 2.8
1 3 .8
2 4 1.1
3 1 .3
4 5 1.4
5 11 3.1
6 7 1.9
7 318 88.6
Total 359 100.0


n=359


M=6.56546


V66 Days to access web Laptop (invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 9 1 12.5
10 3 37.5
20 1 12.5
30 1 12.5
50 1 12.5
100 1 12.5
Total 8 100.0


V67 Days to access web Cell phone


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 .3
0 178 49.0
1 9 2.5
2 13 3.6
3 5 1.4
4 6 1.7
5 11 3.0
6 5 1.4
7 136 37.5
Total 363 100.0


n=363 M=3.060606


V67 Days to access web Cell phone
(invalid)


Frequency Percent
Valid 10 1 25.0
20 1 25.0
25 1 25.0
50 1 25.0
Total 4 100.0


103











V68 Days to access web Mobile device


Frequency Percent
Valid 1 .3
0 337 91.6
1 1 .3
2 7 1.9
3 5 1.4
4 5 1.4
5 3 .8
6 1 .3
7 8 2.2
Total 367 100.0


n=367 M=0.346049


104









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Paige Renee Madsen was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She earned the

Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Florida in 2004 and her

Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Florida in 2010. She was

a lecture assistant for Dr. Julie E. Dodd for four semesters, a lab instructor for Writing

for Mass Communication at the University of Florida for six semesters, and the course

lecturer for one semester.





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1 THE IMPACT OF LAPTOP COMPUTER S CELL PHONES, MOBILE DEVICES, USE OF ONLINE SOURCES AND LEGACY MEDIA TO READ NEWS AND FIND NEWS INFORMATION By PAIGE RENEE MADSEN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Paige Renee Madsen

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3 This is dedicated t o m y parents Bob and Zoe, who taugh t me the value of hard work, education and those Midwest, Madsen ethics. B ehind my every accomplishment are their love, support and encouragement blessed to be a part of the family they built. In addition, I dedicate this to my friend Katie who inspired me with her adventures in education and her endless encouragement to pursue my own

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee: Dr. Julie E. Dodd, Dr. Judy Robinson, and Dr. Norm Lewis. Without their guidance work possible. Thanks go to my family: Clint Carl, Bridget, Korrin, Abi Tanner, Hannah, Faith, and Beth M adsen Their love and kindness have held me up during these last few years, and I am endlessly appreciative. I also owe thanks to Maura been a coworker, a sounding board, a cheerleader, a welcome distrac tion, and a dear, dear friend I thank Kara and the rest of my cohort. Accomplishing th is goal alongside them made reaching it even sweeter.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 10 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 14 Millennials ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 15 News Consumption ................................ ................................ ................................ 18 Seeking News Online ................................ ................................ .............................. 21 Accessing Online Content ................................ ................................ ....................... 26 Complementing Traditional Media ................................ ................................ .......... 30 Gender ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 31 Mobile News Consumption ................................ ................................ ..................... 33 Uses and Gratifications ................................ ................................ ........................... 34 Diffusion of Innovations ................................ ................................ ........................... 35 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 39 Reliability and Validity ................................ ................................ ............................. 39 Measures and Instrument ................................ ................................ ....................... 43 Scenarios ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 43 News Content ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 44 Internet Connection ................................ ................................ .......................... 45 Online News Content ................................ ................................ ........................ 46 Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 47 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 47 4 FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 50 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 51 Scenarios ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 51 News Content ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 61 Use o f Devices to Access News ................................ ................................ ............. 63 Speed of Internet Connection ................................ ................................ ................. 65 Feelings about Online News ................................ ................................ ................... 65

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6 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 68 News Sources ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 68 Device Use and Accessing News Online ................................ ................................ 70 Gender and News Online ................................ ................................ ........................ 71 Qualities of Online News ................................ ................................ ......................... 74 Internet Connection ................................ ................................ ................................ 75 Future Research ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 76 APPENDIX A : SURVEY INSTRUMENT ................................ ................................ ......................... 78 B : VARIABLE DEFINITIONS ................................ ................................ ....................... 85 C : FREQUENCY TABLES ................................ ................................ ........................... 93 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 105 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 111

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Online sources and likelihood to access ................................ ............................. 62 4 2 De vice used in accessing news content online ................................ ................... 64

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Scenario 1 News Source by Gender ................................ ................................ 54 4 2 Scenario 2 News Source by Gender ................................ ................................ 57 4 3 Scenario 3 News Source by Gender ................................ ................................ 60 4 4 Likelih ood of Using Each Source in a Typical Week, by Gender ........................ 63 4 5 Internet News Access by Device, Gender ................................ .......................... 65

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication THE IMPACT OF LAPTOP COMPUTER S CELL PHONES, MOBILE DEVICES, WIRELESS ACCESS, AND GENDER DIFFERENCES ON COLLEGE ST USE OF ONLINE SOURCES AND LEGACY MEDIA TO READ NEWS AND FIND NEWS INFORMATION By Paige Renee Madsen August 2010 Chair: Julie E. Dodd Cochair: Judy Robinson Major: Mass Communication This survey of undergraduate mass communications students exa mined the impact of devices such as laptops, desktops, web enabled cell phones, other web news and find news information. The study found that among participants, print n ewspapers, online news portals, print newspaper websites, and friends were the most cited sources of breaking news information, and students reported wanting depth and accuracy from their news sources. Students reported using laptops more than five days a week and web enabled cell phones nearly two days a week to access news information online. The study found very little difference in the way that men and w omen reported using news sources online, their comfort with online sources, or their feelings toward online news.

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10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In the digital age, some legacy media 1 were concerned about the possible threat posed by the internet to their operations (Francisco, 2006). Newspaper circulation was decreasing, and the readership of online news s ources was increasing. As newspapers increased their use of online content to supplement or replace the print editions, readers had also moved online. While the percentage of people reading newspapers daily began decreasing in the 1940s, the increase in population helped to increase circulation until the 1970s when the population increases leveled off. In 1990, circulation reached a high of more than 60 million papers each day and then began a decline of more than 31% (Pew, 2004; Pew, 2010). The first de cade of the 21 st century saw extensive changes in the newspaper industry. In December 2008, the parent company for the Chicago Tribune the Tribune Co., filed for bankruptcy. In February 2009, The Rocky Mountain News oldest newspaper, closed after nearly 150 years of publication. The Seattle Post Intelligencer another publication with a nearly 150 year publication history, moved to an online only operation in March 2009. The Boston Globe newspaper, was forced to go th rough massive budget cuts in the summer of 2009 to avoid being closed entirely by its parent company, The New York Times The Ann Arbor News printed its last ink and paper edition after 174 years of publication in July 2009. Newsrooms across the country cut budgets and staffs in an effort to keep the 1 existed before the internet was used for public news consumption

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11 doors open and the presses running. In 2008, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that jobs for reporters and correspondents would continue to decease another 4.700 jobs (8%) before 2018 (BLS, 2010). While newspaper circulation declined over 30 years, the decline accelerated in the first quarter of 2009. In April 2009, circulations were down another 7%, but online readership had increased more than 10% (Arango, 2009). The web offered an opportunit y for some publications which would have otherwise closed entirely to keep publishing in a paperless, digital format. Beginning in March 2007, Newspaper Death Watch 2 kept a list of the former print dailies that moved to a decreased print edition with an o nline component or to an online only publication: Seattle Post Intelligencer, Capital Times, Detroit News/Detroit Free Press, Christian Science Monitor, East Valley Tribune, and Ann Arbor News among others. Since the 1990s, newspaper organizations have tried to create a new business model for the written word in a society where reproducing it is free and easy. Shirky (2009) compared the state of journalism in 2009 to the upheaval caused by the invention of the printing press in the 15 th century He wro te that in the midst of a chaotic revolution, it is hard to predict what could ever replace the old system. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project study conducted in early 2010, 61% of Americans get some kind of news online on the typical day (Purcell et al., 2 http://www.newspaperdeathwatch.com/

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12 2010), an increase from 23% four years earlier 3 (Horrigan, 2006). More than 90% of media source, with more than 50% getting news from four to six medi a platforms in the typical day. Fifty nine percent got their news from a combination of online and offline sources (Purcell et al., 2010). In 2010, the way that Americans were accessing information, including news, online was changing. Only 14% of Americ an adults considered themselves dedicated users of wireline, desktop type, access to online information (Horrigan, 2009). The introduction of widespread wireless internet access and mobile devices, such as web enabled cell phones, with access to the inte rnet were expected to change the media landscape even further. Increasingly, cell phones and other mobile devices, such as reading device could be used to access content online. In 2009, Pew (Rainie, 2009) reported tha t 29% of cell phone users have obtained some kind of news content using their cell phones. Since the release of Kindle in late 2007, Amazon offered online subscriptions to dozens of newspapers to be accessed on their Kindle wireless reading device. In Jan uary 2010, Apple announced their new iPad tablet device as competition to the Kindle and other e book readers. Like the Kindle, the iPad would also offer newspaper subscriptions, and media organizations were scrambling to develop content that could be u sed on the iPad. 3 Pew changed the wording of the question from as king how respondents got their

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13 The college age population wa s of special interest to researchers of media consumption. College students enrolled in 2009 and 2010 were members of a generation (born between the years 1982 and 2001) that boasted many names: Millennials, Generation Y, the Next generation, or the Net generation (Strauss and Howe, 2000). They had barely known a time without robust access to the internet, and therefore, the way they used and accessed the i nternet was of special import to researchers This study examined the way that college students accessed news content, the sources they accessed, the devices they used, and the differences in the ways that students of different genders accessed content.

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14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW With the changes in newspaper circulation, web readership, and the advent of new mobile devices used to access the internet, the literature on online news content and news consumption has expanded rapidly. This review of literature examined several facets that affected the wa y that college students used online content, the internet, and mobile devices. Much of the most recent and most comprehensive information from 1999 to 2010 about young people and the internet has come from The Pew Internet and American Life Project, crea mission was to examine various aspects of online life, including basic online activities and social media. Since its first published survey results in 2000, the project expanded to incl ude surveys about new technology use, including cell phone use, broadband internet connections, online news consumption, technology trends, blogging, social networking, and the future of the internet, among other topics. The Pew Center offered some of the most comprehensive information about online activity, and results from its surveys were included throughout this review of literature. This literature review included nine Pew studies, conducted between January 2005 and March 2010: Rainie, L. How the int ernet has woven itself into American life, January 2005 Fallows, Deborah. How women and men use the internet, December 2005 Horrigan, John B. Online News: For many home broadband users, the internet is a primary news source, March 22, 2006 Horrigan, John B. The mobile difference, March 2009 Smith, Aaron. The Internet as a Diversion, September 2009 Rainie, L. Internet, broadband and cell phone statistics, January 2010 Taylor, P. & Keeter, S. Millennials: A portrait of generation next, February 2010 Purcell K., Rainie, L., Mitchell, A., Rosenstiel, T., Olmstead, K. Understanding the participatory news consumer, March 2010 Rainie, L. The new news audience [PDF document], November 2009

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15 Millennials Strauss and Howe (2000) introduced the term Millennials to de scribe people born between 1982 and 2001. In their 2010 study of generational technology use, Taylor and Keeter (2010) looked Millennials over the age of 18, those in Generation X between the ages of 30 and 45, Baby Boomers between the ages of 46 and 64, and those in the Silent Generation older than 65. These generational terms and definitions were used throughout this paper. Strauss and Howe (2000) identified key characteristics of the Millennial generation. Millennials value d the grou p over individual interests, fe l t close and spent a lot of time with their parents, value d intelligence and were motivated by grades, wer e racially diverse, and were interested in new technologies. Taylor and Keeter (2010) found that Millennials took pride in their techno as the principal reason that their generation was unique compared to other generations. While access to computers and the internet wa s based, to a large degree, on socio economic factors, Millennials mad e up a gener ation had unprecedented access to and experience with computers and the internet. When traditional dial up internet service providers like America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy began offering born. More so than any older generation, the young people of the Millennial generation were forerunners in the use of new technologies Re searchers compiled a comprehensive portrait of the Millennials. The Pew Research Center (Taylor & Keeter, 2010) surveyed 2,020 American adults (over the age

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16 of 18) via cell phone and landline in January 2010 to develop a profile of the characteristics of this young generation. Because many of the members of this generation were still under the age of 18 in 2010, the findings included only information about those Millennials who were over the age of 18 at the time the survey was conducted. Taylor & Keete r (2010) found that Millennials outpaced older generations in their use of social media, wireless internet connections, and cell phones. Seventy five to 50% of Gen Xers, 30% of Boomers, and 6% of the Silent Generation. Sixty two percent of Millennials had connected to the internet wirelessly when away from home significantly more than the 48% of Gen Xers, 35% of Boomers, and 11% of the Silent Generation who used w ireless internet when away from home. Nearly 90% of Millennials used their cell phones to send text messages (Mdn= 20 texts in the previous 24 hours). Seventy seven percent of Gen Xers sent texts (Mdn=12), 51% of Boomers sent texts (Mdn=5), and 9% of the S ilent Generation sent texts (too few to count) in the previous 24 hours. As with every generation, Millennials were not without their differences, even within the generation. Those between the ages of 18 and 29 who had attended college were more likely Younger Millennials, those under 25, were found to be heavier users of social networking sites and te xt messaging than Millennials older than 24 (Taylor & Keeter, 2010).

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17 Taylor and Keeter (2010) found that the majority of Millennials considered the effects of technology to be positive. Seventy four percent said that technology made their lives easier, compared to 64% of all respondents. Gen Xers (69%), Boomers (60%), and the Silent Generation (50%) were not far behind Millennials in reporting that technology made their lives easier. Only 18% of Millennials, 21% of Gen Xers, 30% of Boomers, and 36% of the Silent Generation said that technology made their lives more complicated. Fifty six percent of Millennials, 52% of Gen Xers, 54% of Boomers, and 41% of the Silent Generation said that technology made them use their time more efficiently, and 33% of Mi llennials, 34% of Gen Xers, 35% of Boomers, and 41% of the Silent Generation said that technology caused them to waste time. The same Pew study (Taylor & Keeter, 2010) found that 77% of Americans in January 2010 use d the internet or send or receive e mai l at least occasionally. That was an increase from 14% in 1995 (Kohut, Bowman, & Petrella, 1995), 68% in 2005 (Rainie, 2005), and 74% in 2009 (Smith, 2009). But Millennials also outpaced the other generations in general when it came to their use of the i nternet. In 2010, 90% of Millennials were users of the internet, compared to 87% of Gen Xers, 79% of Boomers, and 40% of the Silent Generation. Of Millennials between the ages of 18 and 24, 92% were internet users. The numbers were even higher 96%, for Millennials who had attended or were attending college. Of those Millennials who had never attended college, 83% were at least occasional internet users (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). Millennials were also the strongest user group of social networking sites, with 75% of Millennials reporting they had a social networking profile. Seventy five percent of those social networking users reported that they visited a social networking site more

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18 than once a week, and 29% reported that they visited the site several ti mes a day (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). Twitter use was also highest among Millennial users at 14%. Of those Millennials who attended college, 17% used Twitter, while only 9% of Millennials who did not attend college used Twitter (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). For ty one percent of adult Americans connect ed to the internet wirelessly, and the numbers increase to 62% when looking at Millennials who use d the internet wirelessly. Pew found no significant difference between Millennials of different ages or genders in t heir use of wireless internet, but Millennials who attended college were found to be more likely to use wireless internet (74%) than those who had not attended college (47%). Free and ubiquitous wireless internet services available on many college campuse ikely (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). The Pew study (Taylor & Keeter, 2010) also reported that a majority of every generation owned a cell phone, but Millennials (41%) were more likely than Gen Xe rs (24%), Boomers (13%), or the Silent Generation (5%) to have a cell phone only, without a landline telephone. Eighty three percent of Millennials slept with or next to their cell phones. The 2010 Pew study (Purcell et al.) found that young people betw een the ages of 18 and 29 were the least likely to be interested in news. Only 35% of Millennial respondents to the Pew survey said they followed the news all or most of the time, compared with Gen Xers (56%), Boomers (65%), and the Silent Generation (70% ). News Consumption In 2010 survey of Americans over the age of 18, Pew researchers (Purcell et al., 2010) found that 78% of American adults said they got some news content from a local television station, and 73% said they get news content from a nation al network or cable

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19 network news show. The internet ranked as the third source for news content at 61%. More than 50% of respondents said they heard news information on the radio, and 50% said that they read a local newspaper. Only 17% reported reading a national newspaper like The New York Times or USA Today on a typical day. Diddi and LaRose (2006) studied the news consumption habits of college students and found among students in the study internet portal sites were one of the most frequently used m edia for news consumption, second only to college newspapers. Internet portal sites, such as Google News or Yahoo! News compile d news stories from a variety of sources and allow ed users to search for and read news from a multiple sources via a single sear ch engine. It was assumed that the news consumption habits of college students may have differ ed from those of the general population of readers of all ages because of the ready understanding of and access to the internet, college newspapers, and librarie s, the researchers argue that the results are relevant as a study myriad of media choices, the consumer lapses into habitual patterns of media consumption in order t o conserve mental resources, rather than repeatedly engaging in 90% of all Millennials and 96% of Millennials who are attending or have attended college are internet users (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). Online news outlets provided a new, user driven way of navigating news stories. ld change the pattern of news consumption. Thorson examined the most emailed stories on the New York

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20 Times website over two, 23 day periods. She found that the stories on the most emailed list differed from the stories chosen as the most important by edit ors those given prominent placement in the print edition of the paper By creating the most emailed list, readers of the online edition of the paper played a role in dictating which stor ies are given more play online The appearance of same articles on the most emailed lis t for several consecutive days indicated that such news recommendation engines did impact the navigation of news online. The Associated Press (2008) performed in depth interviews with 18 people between the ages of 18 and 34, with an e mphasis on those between 18 and 24, from three different countries. Participants were chosen from six metropolitan areas in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. All participants had access to the internet and used it to access news content d aily. in the study were consuming a steady diet of bite size pieces of news in the form of backstory and spin offs were harder for read ers to find. Participants wanted increased depth and breadth rather than superficial or cursory coverage of news topics, but they had the fold 1 said that not the full story, but more like a preview The study found and emphasis on the use of news portals as sources of news for young people. It found 1 stories that appear on the top half of the front page. Stor considered less important.

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21 that the young people in the study were using Yahoo! News as an entry point for news. B ased on its findings, AP made changes to its business model, including a partnership with Yahoo! and the launch of its mobile site in May 2008. Seeking News Online Purcell et al. ( 2010) found that, among American adults, the internet is the third most popular source of news information, after local and national television news and ahead of radio and print national and local newspapers. Millennials also cited the internet as a prima ry source of news behind local and national television. Among Millennials, 65% reported ge tting most of their news from television sources, and 59% reported using the internet as their main news source (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). Pew researchers (Horrigan, 2006) found that after e mail and online searching, seeking news content is the third most popular activity online. Pew found that 43% of broadband 2 71% go t their news f rom an online source on a typical day. As for the information that users were seeking online, weather was the number one response (81% of internet users), followed by national events (73%), health and medicine (66%), business and the economy (64%), inter national events (62%), and science and technology (60%) (Purcell et al., 2010). The Associated Press study (2008) found that while the participants were exposed to news content around the clock, they sp the information, such as big headlines and breaking news stories. The participants reported 2 Those who perform four or more activities on the Internet daily

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22 Instead of being given short updates, the readers would have preferred to get a single, deeper story. Kohut et al. (2008) found that 13% of Americans were what the researchers r main source of news content and frequently watch news videos online. Net Newsers wer e typically well educated and affluent, and they were the youngest of the audience segments Pew identified, with a median age of 35. Seventeen percent of Net Newsers re ad online news compared to 8% who read a print newspaper and 10% who read both. The researchers also found that between 2003 and 2008 the number of people who said they sought news online increased from 31% to 37%. Ahlers (2006) identified four groups of American adults were offline only users, and two thirds of those who never read news Ahlers suggested that while a widespread migration to replace offline news sources with online ones had not occurred scale migration from traditional media to the online medium for news readership/ viewership is mer (p. 38). Horrigan (2006) found that w hile in general, the under 36 age group was less interested in news than older survey participants, among broadband users, the under 36 group was the most likely to get news online Pew found that the speed of internet

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23 connection played a role in determining whether or not a reader would seek news content online. For those Millennials readers under the age of 36, 46% of the broadband users turned to the internet for news while onl y 21% of the dial up users sought news online (Horrigan, 2006). As for where readers went for news online, Horrigan (2006) found that most internet users, 46%, went to a national TV news organization site, such as CNN or MSNBC, for news; 39% went to port al websites such as Google or Yahoo News; 32% went to the site of a local daily newspaper; 31% went to a local TV news station; and 20% went to a national daily newspaper site. The numbers were between 1 and 6 percentage points higher for broadband users Online new s readers go t a different version of the news than those offline only readers. Gasher and Gabriele (2004) examined content in online and print versions of a Canadian newspaper to determine if editors of the online publication used the online online version of the paper contained more than twice the items 3 than the print edition each day. Less news conte nt could be expected with the limited news hole 4 available in print news, but the items in the online edition came from fewer unique sources than those in the print paper. The print edition often drew stories from other newspapers, and it offered more 3 Items included stories, stand alone photographs with captions, and editorial cartoons 4 The amount of space available for news content in a newspaper after the advertisements have been laid out.

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24 var iety in the news included than the online edition did. The researchers found that the online site did not offer in of facts, offering minimal context, making it difficult to discern at times wh y an item and online versions of the newspapers they studied contained a comparable number of stories, despite their assumpti on that online papers would contain more stories. read in the same way that readers of offline news do. The researchers examined the differences between news retention after readers read a sto ry online and in a print newspaper and found that and interest in a particular topic than on whether the news appears in print or onl (2004, p. 363). Beginning in 1990, th e Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, performed the first of a series of studies in an effort to determine how readers read news items. The research involved observing participants reading news and used eye tracking technology to follow the read using special glasses fitted with two small cameras The technology allowed researchers to gather information about what a reader looked at and how long he or she looked when reading news content. In 2008, the Poynter researchers, in partnership with the Philadelphia News, Rocky Mountain News, St. Petersburg Times, and the Star Tribune released a study of 582 participants reading news in print newspapers or online. Researchers found that online readers read more of a story than reade rs of print newspapers. Online readers were likely to

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25 click on stories that interested them, and when viewing a story of interest, they read more deeply than print readers. Online readers read a story to its completion 63% of the time, considerably more often than readers of the print papers. Social media has become another platform for reading and distributing news active internet users, those who use d the internet d aily or every other day, have read a blog, 57% manage d a profile on a s ocial networking site, 55% left comments on blogs, 46% left comments on a news site, and 36% subscribe d to RSS feeds. Smith predicted that because regularity of use increases over time that eventually everyone would become an active user of the internet, as people had with television since its widespread introduction in the US in the 1940s and 19 50s (Smith, 2008). ial look smart, connect with friends and family and even move up the social economic (AP, 2008, p. 47). One type of this social communicat ion occurred when a reader posted or commented on a news link on a social networking site. Of those with a s ocial networking profile, 10% go t their news online through those sites (Rainie, 2009). A 2010 Pew study found that 75% of online news users got some news content through e mail forwards or via posts to social networking sites. Of online news consumers, 52% said that they had shared links to news content through e mail or posts on their own s ocial networking site profiles. Pew found that 51% of social networking users who were also online news consumers got news from their social

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26 and online news consume rs, 23% had friended, fanned or followed 5 a news organization or a journalist on the social networking site. For example, a Facebook user can become a fan of a specific journalist, and a Twitter user can follow a network or a television show using that si te (Purcell et al., 2010). Accessing Online Content Purcell et al. (2010) found that most internet news users were likely to visit two to five websites for information, and 65% said that they did not have a favorite site for news information online. Only 11% found their news using more than five websites on a typical day, and 21% relied on a single site for their online news information daily (Purcell et al., 2010). Flavian and Gurrea (2008) found that readers of online news chose their websites based on usability and familiarit y with the site. As usability wa s one of the main characteristics that users cite in making the decision as to which online news source they will use, the usability of a site was even more pronounced depending on the device used t with web sites on the choice of electronic newspaper. However, reputation, privacy and trust in the web sites do not influence significantly the final choice of digital (2008, p. 26) Despite the findings that blogs had a lower level of reputation than 5 Becoming a fan, friend, or follower on a social networking site is a way for users to show their connection to other users or to organizations that use the sites. For example, a Twitte r user follows other Twitter users to see their posts. On Facebook, a user becomes a fan of a person or organization to indicate support or interest. Both Facebook and MySpace allow users to become friends with other users, giving both users access to ea

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27 established press sites, the growing popularity of blogs among online readers indicated that they should be included in a discussion of online news sources (Flavi an, 2008). technology fit theory in analyzing user requirements for mobile devices. While the study focused on the the fit between the task of accessing news content online and the current mobile technology available. The researcher found that some issues governing how well the mobile and screen size. Convenience, timeliness and flexibility were the most often mentioned impacts of mobile technology among participants of the study (Gebauer, 2008). Young people define d technology broadly and in terms of activities performed rather than hardware and software used to perform them. Oblinger and Oblinger (2005) found that for c ollege age people, technology was so ubiquitous that they didn recognize it as technology. For example, they saw the internet as a tool used to access onlin described something new or innovative, and for many young people, technologies such as internet, cell phones, e mail, instant messaging, and text messaging are neither new nor Young people are not always aware of the potential uses of the technologies they students use of handheld co mputers found that students who used the devices, such as the Palm personal digital assistant or PDA, were familiar with a wide range of technologies but when introduced to the handheld computer were not likely to grasp the

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28 potential of the device or its c apabilities. Most of the students in the study needed the encouragement and guidance of the instructors to explore the capabilities of the technology. Purcell et al. (2010) found that 33% of American adults had used their cell phones or another mobile device to access news content online. The first so function cellular phone and was low tech by 2010 standards. The Simon contained a calendar, address boo k, world clock, calcul ator, address book, games and e mail functionality. It was followed in 1996 by phones from Nokia and Ericsson. The term system software using the term. Smart phones increased in functionality since the release of the Simon. At the beginning of the 21 st century, data transfer, email, and internet access became standard on cellular phones. Users had the ability to access web content, including news conten t, from their cell phones while away from a computer or a wired internet smartphone. The thin, light weight phone combined all the functions of earlier smart phones with a larger screen that had better definition than available before, a portable media player, a personal assistant, a web browser, and the ability to download the iPod To uch, a non phone mobile device that included much of the functionality of the iPhone but with Wi Fi capability and without the phone function.

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29 To capitalize on these mobile news users, media organizations started to develop mobile versions of their tradi tional websites. A mobile version of the site was more user friendly for users who would be viewing the site on a much smaller screen than the traditional computer monitor. Mobile sites generally included a single list of headlines rather than a layout t hat required users to scroll left to right on their small, mobile device screens. For example, The New York Times released a mobile version of its news site in September 2006. The mobile site for the Tampa Tribune debuted in early 2006, but traffic to th e mobile site increased in 2007 along with the increase of web enabled phones. Some media outlets, such as the New York Times and USA Today developed Touch. These apps were similar to mobile sites in that they made the news easily accessible with a single list of headlines and larger font sizes for users with the smaller screens, but mobile apps allow access to the news content without accessing a web browser. In 2010, 18% of mobile news consumers had downloaded and used an app for news content on their cell phone (Purcell et al, 2010). According to the 2010 Pew study (Purcell et al., 2010), 80% of American adults owned a cell phone, and 37% went online using their cel l phones. Twenty six percent of all Americans (33% of cell phone owners) have used their cell phone to get some form of news content from the internet. Pew also looked at the type of news information users are seeking while using their cell phones. The most popular information that mobile news users sought was weather (26%), followed by news and current events (25%). In addition to offering apps, some major media outlets allow ed users to subscribe to a service that sends text message alerts about news e s

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30 cell phone. CNN Text Alerts wa s part of the CNN toGO 6 service that sent breaking news text messages to subscribers who use d Verizon t elephone service. These users we re part of the 1 1% of mobile news users who had gotten news content v ia e mail or text messages to their cell phones (Purcell et al, 2010). Complementing Traditional Media Research on news consumption found that online news content was a complement to print, television, and radio news rather than a replacement for those t raditional media sources (Stempel, 1995; Stempel et al., 2000; Ahler, 2006; Nguyen, 2007; Purcell et al., 2010). Pew (Purcell et al., 2010) found that 38% of American adults relied solely on offline source of news such as television and print newspaper. Only 2% of American adults used the internet as a sole source of news information, but nearly 60% of American adults got their news from a combination of online and offline sources. In a survey of media use in relation to the internet, Stempel, Hargrove, a nd Bernt (2000) used the knowledge likely than non demographic variables. In comparing internet and non internet users, the int ernet users were more likely to read a print newspaper and listen to news on the radio. The researchers theorized that internet users were information seekers by nature and were more likely to seek out information on a variety of channels. The participan internet as a news source complemented traditional news sources such as print newspapers and television news sources rather than replaced them. 6 http://www.cnn.com/togo/providers_verizon.html

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31 Ahlers (2006) repor ted that 12% of U.S. adults directly substituted online news content for tra ditional media sources and another 22% have substituted some online content for traditional offline news. A substantial portion of the 22%, Ahlers reported, used online news to complement rather than a substitute for offline content (2006). Gender Studies have shown that women consider themselves less savvy with new technology, specifically computer use, than men do (Schumacher & Morahan Martin, 2001; Tsai, Lin & Tsai, 2001). Sieverding and Koch (2009) found no inherent gender bias in the way their study omplete a complex computer task, b ut when asked to rate their own knowledge with computers, the female participants rated their own computer competence lower than men did (Fallows, 2005; Sieverding & Ko ch, 2009). Consistent with earlier studies (Shashaani & Khalili, 2001; Sherman, End, & Kraan, 2000; Corston & Colman, 1996; Martin, 1991; Todman, 2000), Broos (2005) found a significant difference between men and women in information and communication te chnology experience and attitudes; women were more anxious, less confident and more hesitant when using computers and the internet. Fallows (2005) found that women, more than men, were anxious and concerned about what they deemed the dangers of the intern et, such as pornography and identity theft. Fallows (2005) surveyed men and women about the way they went online and the activities they did while online. Fallows found that men and women were accessing the internet in similar numbers. In 2005, 86% of w omen between the ages of 18 and 29 went online compared to 80% of men the same age. In older age groups, men were

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32 more likely than women to go online b ut looking at men and women of all ages, 61% of men were likely to go online compared to 57% of women. Fallows (2005) found that men were going online more often than women Of men and women who used the internet, 44% of men and 39% of women reported that they would go online several times a day. But from work, men (65%) and women (66%) were equally like ly to go online. T he activities men and woman performed online differed in 2005: Compared with women, online men are more likely to use the internet to: check the weather, get news, get do it yourself information, check for sports information, get politi cal information, get financial information, do job related research, download software, listen to music, rate a product/person/service through an online reputation system, download music files, use a webcam, and take a class. Compared with men, online wome n are more likely to use the internet to: send and receive email, get maps and directions, look for health and medical information, use web sites to get support for health or personal problems, and get religious information (Fallows, 2005). Broadband users were also more likely to seek news content online than non users (Horrigan, 2006). Broadband users logged onto the internet more often than those w ith slower internet connections, and men with broadband logged on more often than women with the same conn ection. Men were more likely to have broadband internet access at home than were women (Fallows, 2005). (p. v) Men in the study were more likely to try n ew technology, hardware and software. Men reported that they were more confident than women at being able to troubleshoot their own computer problems, and men were more statisticall y more likely than women to be able to define all the following internet terms: spam (90% men, 87% women), firewall (83%, 73%), spyware (82%, 74%), internet

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33 cookies (74%, 62%), adware (60%, 44%), phishing (36%, 23%), podcasting (16%, 11%), and RSS feeds (1 2%, 6%). Fallows (2005) found that men were more likely than women to seek news content online. Fallows found that 75% of men and 69% women (a statistically significant difference) used the internet to find news content online. Sixty percent of men and 56% of women used the internet to see political campaign news online. In 2008, Kohut et al. source of news, were men. Mobile News Consumption Leung and Wei (2000) studie d cell phones before the introduction of smart phones and mobile devices. Their research focused mainly on the ability for enhanced communication via cell phone, but did not go as far as the use of cell phones to access the internet or specifically news c ontent online. New generations of the cellular phone (such as PCS Personal Communications Systems) have evolved from a mobile talking device into a multipurpose communication medium that is capable of transmitting and disseminating voice, text, graphics, The 2009 Pew survey of internet users (Rainie, 2010) found that 55% of American adults use d a wireless connection to the internet via laptops, netbooks or handheld devices like a smart phone or other mobile device. O f Millennials over 18 years old, 80% use d wireless connections. Eighty three percent of American adults had a cell phone or smart phone, and 35% had accessed the internet via their phone (Rainie, 2010). Westlund (2008) examined the attitudes and behavio rs that influenced the adoption and diffusion of using a mobile phone to access news content online in

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34 technological architecture of the mobile phone has changed. The mobile phone is no longer only a telephone; it has become a personal mobile device that integrates both online newspapers have adopted the mobile device as a news medium to a highe r readers of free print dailies and those who read news content online that wa s not evident in readers of other daily print newspapers. Westlund found two groups relied mor th e and those who spent a high number of hours working. Uses and Gratifications Uses and gratifications is not a theory but rather a collection of work and studies that examines t needs. Rubin and Rubin (1985) asserted that all communication contexts and channels could be explained through a uses and gratifications approach. Studies have applied the uses and gratifications approach to examine internet use (LaRose, 2001; LaRose, 2004) related to social networking (Raacke, 2008), political communication (Jackson, 2007; Kay, 2002), online gaming (Chang, 2006), religion and the search for it (Richardson, 2003), internet abuse ( Song, 2004), and online news content (Diddi, 2006). Uses and gratifications proposes that people actively seek out media (in this case, using the web to seek online news information) to satisfy certain needs (Katz, 1973). Morris and Ogan (1996) and Lin (1 999) found that online users are more "active" in their selection of content in an online medium than users of other traditional

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35 media, so uses and gratifications is especially useful in examining user motivations. Previous research found that users who c onsume online information make purposeful choices of the content they view by searching, navigating to, and clicking on information they wish to view (Lin, 1999; Johnson and Kaye, 2002). Some studies approached uses and gratification research by looking at the observed gratifications and seeking the needs from which they result, others began with urity or the This study included two different elements that could be examined through the lens of uses and gratifications research: the use of online news content and the use of a spec ific device to access news content online.Looking at several methods of connecting to online news content a wired, stationary environment like a desktop computer, a wireless environment such as a laptop computer, or a wireless, mobile technology device s uch as a cellular, smart phone or other mobile device this study examined the extent to which each technology is used to access news content online and to report on the gratifications associated with the surveillance need to access news content online. D iffusion of Innovations It was useful to expand the discussion from uses and gratifications to also include the theory of innovation diffusion (Rogers, 1995). With advances in technology, the portals to internet news content were becoming more plentiful i n 2010. No longer was a user required to remain at a wired workstation to access the web; wireless networks offered some freedom of mobility that was outstripped by the advent of mobile devices that utilized wireless networks.

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36 innovations described the way that new technologies, or innovations, were adopted or diffused through a population. by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the (p. 5). Rogers defined an innovation using five characteristics: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability (the ability to try an innovation before adopting it), and observability (the ability to observe how others use the innovation). A ll five characteristics were evident in the innovation of seeking news content online. Seeking news online offered the relative advantage of being able to access up to the minute content without consumer cost. With 70% of Americans using the internet (Ho rrigan, 2006), seeking news content online was compatible with the lifestyle of people who were already comfortable getting information online and with seeking news content through other media. already c omfortable seeking non news content online. Studies showed that online news complements other news sources rather than replacing them (Stempel, 1995; Stempel et al., 2000; Ahler, 2006; Nguyen, 2007; Purcell et al., 2010), so the innovation was able to be tried without abandoning other media. In addition, online news information was so ubiquitous that its use was easily observable. Once an innovation was defined, Rogers theorized that the adoption of the innovation will follow an S curve with a slope that varied based on the innovation. curve is quite steep. Other innovations have a slower rate of adoption, and the S 23) At the height of the S curve, the innovation is so highly diffused, it is considered to

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37 have reached critical mass. In examining the use of online news sources, the aim was to learn about the diffusion status and the adopters of internet news. As for the devices used to access news content online, there was the question of diffusion of the device and diffusion of the process of using the device to access online news content. Using both uses and gratification and diffusion of innovation theories, Chen and Corkindale (2007) studied the factors that influenced the adoption of online news services. They identified six factors that influenced the adoption of online news sources : perceived usefulness, perceived core service quality, perceived supplementary service quality, trust, networking, and interface and subjective norm. This research examined why users chose one news site over another but not why users would choose to seek news information online rather than from a traditional print, television, or radio source. In summary, this study examined the way that college Millennials accessed news content both on and offline and the news sources they accessed in a breaking news s ituation. Purcel et al. (2010) indicated that while young users are not the most interested in news content, they are avid users of technology, including the internet and web enabled devices. Previous literature (Schumacher & Morahan Martin, 2001; Tsai, Lin & Tsai, 2001; Broos, 2005; Fallows, 2005) indicated that men were likely to be more comfortable than women using computers and technology, but Taylor and Keeter (2010) suggested that both men and women in the Millennial age group were equally comfortab le accessing the internet because both groups had spent most of their lives using computers.

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38 The study was designed to address the following five research questions: 1. RQ1: Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a source other than a tra ditional media organization? 2. RQ2: What is the extent to which college students use a particular device (desktop, laptop or mobile device) to access news content online? 3. speed, dial up ) affect the type of device he/she uses to access news content online? 4. RQ4: Do college men perceive themselves more comfortable accessing news content online than college women? 5. RQ5: Do college men have a more positive attitude toward accessing online news content than college women?

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39 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY A 37 item online questionnaire (see Appendix A) was developed and administered to undergraduate students in a media writing course at a large, southeastern university. The questionnaire was administered using the web based Qualtrics 1 Research Suite, and students completed the questionnaire during class time. They were given a small token of a piece of candy for their participation. Students self reported their experience in accessing different sources of news content, the devices they owned and used on a regular basis, and the way they would react to breaking news situations. Their responses were analyzed in an effort to answer the research questions. Reliability and Validity The survey method is kno wn to be strong on reliability and weak on validity. All students who participated in the survey responded to the same questionnaire, with the exception of one question asking about class section number. That one question was updated between the fall 200 9 and spring 2010 semesters to reflect the appropriate section numbers in each semester. That question was used only to determine which classes had completed the questionnaire, and the results were not used in any data analysis. Using the same instrument with every participant helped to ensure that student responses were appropriate for comparison. As the sample was taken from a media writing course and most of the participants were majoring in advertising, journalism and public relations, they were pro bably a more 1 http://www.qualtrics.com

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40 uniform group than a sample of other undergraduate students. Also, because the students were taking a media writing class where they were expected to read news in an effort to better understand news writing styles, there may be an element of social desirability bias where these students were more likely to report that they read news than others in their peer group. The questionnaire asked about the number of days the respondent used each device (desktop computer, laptop computer, cell phone, and other mobile device) both to access news content and to access the internet. As a check of reliability, the number of days a device was used to access the internet was verified to be equal to or greater than the number of days the device was used to access news content online. The students were self reporting information about their news consumption, the devices they used, and the internet connection they had. The results are bas ed only on what the participants self reported, and this could impact the validity of a survey. Participants may have answered questions based on what they thought they should be doing as students in a news writing class. As a check on the validity of demographic questions, the data about gender, major, and class standing was compared to the data for the college overall and found that the means for men and women in each major was close to the breakdown for the entire college. The class standings reported in the survey also matched what was expected as there were few freshm en and seniors in the sample results and the class was typically taken by sophomores and juniors. The scenario questions were designed to gather information about how participants seek more information in a breaking news situation. The questionnaire was

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41 developed to offer three different scenarios, each with a different degree of access to the internet. Each scenario presented details about the situation and asked students how important it was for them to learn more information about the situation and t he reason why it was important or unimportant to them. Students were also asked how likely they were to seek additional information about the situation. Using the scales for importance and for likelihood to seek more information, the aim was to measure t he open ended question about why it was important to learn more about the situation, the hope was e participant would seek additional information, the hope was to gather data on which sources a participant was likely to use to obtain information in a breaking news situation. The subsequent question about why the participant chose a particular source w as asked to gather information about motivation. The answers to the motivation questions were compared to the answers about importance of seeking more information and the reason for choosing a specific source to determine if the answers concurred. For ex ample, if a participant answered that it was very important to get more information The survey instrumen t was administered during class time, and it took approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is possible that the students were not very reflective in taking time to answer each question. Only two questions for each scenario allowed the option to comment. Those comments were used to gather information about motivation, and that information was only provided by students who took time to

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42 reflect and answer why they were likely or unlikely to seek more information and why they chose a particular source to fin d it. when asking participants about how often they engaged in a particular activity, such as accessing news content using a certain device or finding news co ntent from a spec ific source. A aimed to avoid receiving responses that were atypical for the participant. For example, a participant who was too busy or preoccupied with another matter in the pre vious or m eaningful data Using anecdotal evidence, participants were asked rcell et al, 2010) because she assumed that most students were not accessing news content online daily. By expanding the unit of measure to a typical week, information could be collection about an activity that might not have occurred on a typical day. participants to enter text providing a description of the other option. In the questions about d evices, participants were asked which devices they owned or had access to on a regular basis. It was predicted that while some participants might not own a device examined in this study, desktop computer, laptop computer, web enabled cell phone, or other mobile device with access to the web, it was still possible for the participant to regular use the device owned by a friend, roommate, significant

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43 other, parent, or the university. The question about the length of time the participant had used each dev ice on a weekly basis was used to with the device. Measures and Instrument The questionnaire began with five demographic questions about age, gender academic standing, major and section number. Question 5 about the stu number was asked to determine which classes had completed the questionnaire. As students were randomly divided into class section s for the university registration process differences between students in each section were not expected and this question was not used for any analysis or identification. Scenarios The questionn aire included three scenarios that describe d breaking news situations in which students had increasing access to online sources. The scenarios and the questions that followed (questions 6 through 20) were included to gather data related to RQ 1 Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a source other than a traditional media organization? The scenarios placed students in three different situations wit h varying levels of access to technology. Scenario 1: You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and firefighters in the area, but you can't see an obv ious reason why they are there and you aren't able to ask the officers what is happening. Scenario 2: You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on campus. When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and there is a notice on all the counters saying that it has been closed by order of the Health Department. Scenario 3: You are in your dorm room when your roommate tells you that the swine flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick.

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44 Each scenari o was followed by a set of quest ions asking how the students would seek news in each situation Using a five point Likert type response scale from 1 ( extremely important ) to 5 ( extremely unimportant ) students were asked how important it was for them to k now more about the situation. They were asked why it was important or unimportant for them to seek more information. On a seven point scale from 1 ( very likely ) to 7 ( very unlikely ) participants were asked how likely they were to seek additional informa tion about the situation. Students were also asked which method (both online and offline) they would use to seek more information about the situation: blog, family member/parents, friend, mobile device application, print newspaper, newspaper website, onli ne news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News), radio, social networking website (such as Facebook or MySpace), television, or television station website. They were asked why they would seek information using this method. News C ontent For the purpos recent and important events, not including entertainment or celebrity news. Question 21 asked students how often they accessed news content online. Responses ranged from 1 ( several times a day) to 7 ( never). Students who responded that they never accessed news online were asked why in question 22. For p articipants who did access news content online question 24 asked how likely they were to access each of the following online news source s in a typical week: national newspaper site, regional/local newspaper site, national television news site (such as CNN or Fox News), news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News), local television news site, blog, mobile device application (such as an application for iPhone

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45 or iPod), social networking site (such as Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter). The question used a seven point Likert type scale to measure whether the participant was likeliness to access news content online, from 1 ( very unlikely) to 7 ( very likely). Question 29 asked participants how many days in a typical week they got news from the following online and offline sources: college newspaper, local/regional newspaper, national newspaper, radio, television, family/friends or an online so urce. To gather information related to RQ 2 What is the extent to which college students use a particular device (desktop, laptop, web enabled cell phone or mobile device) to access news content online? p articipants we re asked about how many days in a typical week they used a desktop computer, laptop computer, web enabled cell phone or other mobile device to access the internet and news content online. Question 23 asked student how many days in a typical week they used each of the devices to access ne ws content online. Question 37 asked how many days in a typical week the devices were used to access the internet (without specifying news). Comparing the two answers allowed comparison for how often the devices were used to access the internet for gener al information and how often they were used to access news content on the internet. Internet Connection To gather data for RQ 3 connection (high speed, dial up) affect the type of device he/she uses to a ccess news content online? the questionnaire includ ed questions about the type of i nternet connection the participant has access to both inside and outside the home. Question 30 asked students which type of internet connection they had at home: dial up, high speed Wi

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46 considered the place where the participant lived while attending school. Questions 31 through 34 asked about the type of high speed and wireless internet the students used out sid e their homes in a typical week and the numbers of days in a typical week they used high speed and wireless internet outside their homes. Online News Content Research questions R Q4 Do college men perceive themselves more comfortable accessing news c ontent online than college women? and R Q5 Do college men have a more positive attitude toward accessing online news content than college women? ask ed about gender and online news access Question 25 used a five point Likert type scale ranging from 1 ( very comfortable ) to 5 ( very uncomfortable ) to ask participants how comfortable they were accessing online in a typical week, were asked questions 26 and 27 about what the y liked and disliked about accessing news online. Using a five point scale from 1 ( positive/strongly like ) to 7 ( negative/strongly dislike ), question 28 asked participants to describe their feelings toward news content online. Question 35 asked participan ts about the devices, including desktop computer, laptop computer, cell phone with access to the Web, mobile device (other than a cell phone) with access to the Web (such as an iPod Touch or Kindle), that participants regularly had access to use. This que stion gathered information about the devices participants used and about their experience with each device. Using a four point scale, question 36 asked about participant experience with a device measured by the length

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47 of time he or she had used a particu lar device, from 1 ( less than a year ) 2 ( be tween one and three years ) 3 ( be tween three and seven year ) to 4 ( more than seven years ) Survey The questionnaire was administered to the students of an introductory writing for mass communication course at a large southeastern university during the fall 2009 and spring 2010 seme sters. The sample population was of particular interest because communications students have a vested interest in digital news content, and college students in 2009 and 2010 are part of the i nternet generatio n who had been exposed to the i nternet nearly their enti re lives. Their use of the i nternet for accessing news conten t was of particular interest. The university had a computer requirement for all undergraduate students. The req uirement differed by college and sometimes by major, but all students were required to have access to and the use of a computer and access to t he internet. The university campus also offered campus wide wireless internet connection. Using a university lo gin, students could access the internet throughout campus from either campus computer labs or using their own computers or mobile devices. The students were asked to complete the voluntary survey during the computer lab portion of their writing class. Co mpleting the questionnaire took approximately 15 minutes, and students in the classroom at the time the survey was administered were given a small token of candy, regardless of participation. Limitations This study used a small sample of mass communicatio ns students from a single college at a single, large, southeastern university. The results from this population are only useful in describing the behaviors of this group of students but cannot be

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48 generalized to a larger population. Because the sample in cluded only students in a mass communication class, participants may have been likely to report they were seeking news information more often than if the sample had been selected from other majors. The sample included only one telecommunications student, and that might have affected the likelihood that television would be used as a news source by participants The university offered free wireless internet connection on campus for anyone with a university computer login. University computer requirements a lso meant that the population was very likely to own and regularly use a computer to access the internet. The questions for the survey were developed and then submitted to the university's Institutional Review Board for approval. The findings of the surve y could have been strengthened if some of the questions had been based on questions asked in previous research studies, thus providing a comparison to other time periods or populations. The questionnaire was not pilot tested before being administered in o rder to conduct the survey before the end of fall semester 2009. The survey instrument construction had several elements that limited the results of the study. For example, question 24, the open ended question about the number of days that students used a particular device to access news content online each week allowed for some misinterpretation. Responses from 32 participants were invalidated because the respondent entered a number great than seven. Among laptop users, 22 entered numbers greater than seven and as great as 100 to indicate how many days in a typical week they access news content online using a laptop. Respondents may have answered the question to indicate the number of times per week, rather than the

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49 number of days per week, they used a device to access news content online. A pilot of the instrument may have caught and corrected the problem with these questions.

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50 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS This study was conducted in the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters using a 37 item online survey of unde rgraduate mass communication students at a large public southeastern university. The survey was conducted during class time in a media writing course required for students majoring in advertising, journalism, and public relations. The survey was create d in Qualtrics and took students approximately 15 minutes to complete. Completing the survey was voluntary. A total of 387 participants answered the questionnaire. Eighteen questionnaires were invalid because they were started but not completed. One su rvey, completed by an instructor, was also invalidated. The usable sample consisted of 368 completed student surveys. Using IBM SPSS Statistics 18 frequencies on all data were run as well as cross tabulations, t tests, and the chi square test for indepe ndence as appropriate. An alpha level of p<.05 was used for all statistical tests to determine statistical significance. ended questions were analyzed to identify All percentages were calculated based on the number of respondents for a given question, not the number of participants in the study. Three terms were defined in the survey to make sure survey participants would have the same concept in mind as they m defined as information about recent and important events, not including entertainment News which allows a user to search for news c ontent from a variety of sources from a

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51 was defined as the place the respondent lived while attending school. Demographics More than 98% ( n =361) of respondents were betwe en the ages of 17 and 22 with a mean of 19.4 ( SD = 0.84). Of the seven participants outside that age range, three were 23, two were 24, and one was 30, and one was 31 years old. The respondents were 22% ( n =79) male and 79% ( n =289) female. All responden ts were undergraduates: 13% ( n =46) freshmen, 59% ( n =218) sophomores, 28% ( n =103) juniors and less than 1% ( n =1) seniors. While there were more female than male participants in the survey, the numbers closely match those of the undergraduates enrolled in t he journalism, public relations, and advertising programs at the university, which were 22% male and 78% female in spring 2010 (Distribution by college, 2010). Thirty three percent ( n =122) were majoring in advertising, 32% ( n =116) in journalism, 32% ( n =1 17) in public relations, and 3% ( n =12) in other areas. The students majoring outside the three core majors were studying agricultural communications ( n =5), English ( n =2), visual art studies ( n =1), exploratory humanities ( n =1), psychology ( n =1), music ( n =1 ), and telecommunication ( n =1). Scenarios Scenario 1. You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and firefighters in the area, but you can't see an obvi ous reason why they are there and you aren't able to ask the officers what is happening.

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52 In Scenario 1, 92% ( n =336) of participants reported that it was either extremely important or somewhat important to get more information about the situation. No par ticipants responded that it was extremely unimportant to get more information about the situation. Nearly 90% ( n =331) of all respondents were likely to seek more information about the situation. Only 6% ( n =23) of all respondents were unlikely to seek mor e information, and none of the respondents was very unlikely to see more inf ormation. Of respondents who said they were likely to seek more information, the most common motivations were curiosity and safety concerns. Thirty four percent ( n =124) of all res pondents listed a curiosity motivation for seeking more information about Scenario 1. Their answers to open Why are you likely or unlikely to seek n =65) of respondents included words such Respondents wrote comments such as and likely to seek additional information not only to satisfy my own Sixteen percent ( n =60) of respondents responded that they were motivated by a It's my community, and I live down the street. I need to know what's going on I would be likely to seek information because the safety of my school is very important to me.

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53 Twelve percent ( n =43) wrote comments that they were likely to seek more ant to be informed in any situation. knowing is always better than not knowing Eleven percent ( n =4 2) were motivated by personal concern and said that the news would directly affect them or people close to them. Just 2% ( n =6) participants indicated I liked to be informed about what we are discussing in class or what others are discussing around Of the students who responded that they were unlikely to seek additional them or that it none of their business The three scenarios and subsequent questions were used to measure the response to RQ1, Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a source other than a traditional media organization? Twenty three percent ( n =82) of participants reporte d that they would use a newspaper website to obtain more information. In response to the question about why the participant would use that method to seek additional information, written comments included that the information on a newspaper website was acc urate, updated regularly, and detailed. In open ended responses, participants wrote that the information would be updated more quickly on a website than in the print edition of the newspaper. Twenty two percent ( n =79) of participants would use a news po rtal such as Google or Yahoo! News to seek additional information about Scenario 1. Respondents

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54 them to quickly seek information from a variety of online sources. They were also able to compare information for multiple sources as a type of fact checking. Seventeen percent ( n =64) of respondents reported they would turn to a friend to learn more ab out the police and fire officer presence near the student union. Respondents said that campus news traveled quickly via word of mouth, and they would be likely to learn about the event from a friend. Participants said that they could quickly and easily g et in touch with a friend, and that they would trust information from a friend to be accurate. Only 11% ( n =39) said they would use a print newspaper source for more information. Those respondents indicated a newspaper was an easily accessible, reliable source that would be likely to cover the situation at the student union. Men and women responded differently when asked where they would seek information. The most common response of men was to use a portal while the most common response of women w as a n ewspaper website (see Figure 4 1). Figure 4 1 Scenario 1 News Source by Gender

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55 Scenario 2. You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on campus. When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and t here is a notice on all the counters saying that it has been closed by order of the Health Department. In Scenario 2, 88% ( n =323) of participants reported that obtaining additional information about the situation was either extremely or somewhat importa nt There were no statistically significant differences in the way men and women responded to their likelihood to seek additional information about Scenario 2. Nearly 85% ( n =310) of all respondents -86% ( n =68) of men and 84% ( n =242) of women -were lik ely to seek more information about the situation. Only 10% ( n =37) were unlikely to seek more information, and none of the respondents was very unlikely to see more information. Of respondents who said it was likely they would seek more information, the most common motivation was the health concern of having eaten at a restaurant that was then closed by the health department. Thirty three percent ( n =123) of respondents wrote comments they were likely to seek more information because of the possible threa I want to know what happened Twenty six percent ( n =96) of respondents cited curiosity as the motivation for seeking additional information about Scenario 2. Respondents wrote that they were Seventeen percent ( n =64) wrote comments saying that they would seek additional information because the si tuation might directly affect themselves or people close to them. Some students responded the closing of the restaurant was of interest to them because the change would affect their routine and daily schedule. They would seek

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56 additional information to de termine if and when the restaurant would open again. The social currency motivation described in the Associated Press survey of young readers (AP, 2008) was not evident in the responses to this scenario. Only one respondent wrote a comment saying that d iscussion about the restaurant closing would make for good conversation. Of the students who reported that they were unlikely to seek additional information, the most common motivation was the student was generally not interested in information about food services or that the student would just go somewhere else to eat. Some reported they would not want to know unpleasant Since the restaurant is not know what caused it, since I used For Scenario 2, in response to RQ1, Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a source other than a traditional media organization? media source was first among the p six percent (n=97) of participants reported that a print newspaper would be their primary source for additional information about a restaurant close by the health department. Participants wrote a newspaper would provid e easy access and accurate information. Several participants reported they expected to get a greater depth of coverage from a print newspaper than other sources. Of the participants who included a specific publication in their written comments, most list ed the campus newspaper. In Scenario 2, 19% ( n =71) of respondents reported they would go to a news portal to seek more information about the situation. Just as in Scenario 1, participants reported they would use a news portal to find more information be cause it was easily

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57 accessible and quick. Participants indicated that a news portal also allowed them to seek information from multiple sources quickly and allowed for comparing information from those sources. Nineteen percent ( n =68) of respondents to th e question reported they would go to a newspaper website for more information about Scenario 2. These participants wrote comments saying that a newspaper website would be updated before a print edition with information about the situation became available Participants also wrote comments that a website is also more easily searchable than a print paper. Fourteen percent ( n =53) of participants would seek information from a friend. These participants wrote that asking a friend would take very little effor t and that contacting a friend would be faster than for the participant to look for information on his or her own. As with Scenario 1, participants wrote that word of mouth travels quickly. Figure 4 2 Scenario 2 News Source by Gender

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58 In Scenario 2, men and women both ranked a print newspaper as their primary source of new information about the situation. Among men, newspaper websites were cited second and news portals were cited third. Among women, the second most cited so urce was a news portal, and newspaper websites were the third most popular response. Among both men and women, the fourth most cited response was a friend (see Figure 4 2). S cenario 3 You are in your dorm room when your roommate tells you that the swi ne flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick. The H1N1 swine flu was a health concern on the university campus, as well as nationally and internationally, during the 2009 2010 school year. In Scenario 3, 80% ( n =295) of par ticipants reported that it was extremely or somewhat important for them to know more information about the rumored H1N1 outbreak in a campus residence hall. Sixty six percent ( n =192) of women and 52% ( n =41) of men said that they were very likely or likely to seek additional information. Twenty two percent ( n =17) of men and 15% ( n =42) of women were unlikely to seek additional information. Of respondents who said they would likely seek more information, the most common motivation was the concern of being exposed to the H1N1 flu. Forty percent ( n This problem could directly affect In Scenario 3, respondents reported a motivation not evident in the other two s cenarios. Ten percent ( n information to learn more about the swine flu, such as the symptoms, the severity of the strain, and how to prevent catching it. Some participants reported wanting to seek

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59 information about which dorm had the outbreak so they could avoid residents from that dorm. Those who were not likely to seek more information wrote comments such as, The swine flu has been around a while, so it In Scenarios 1 and 2 curiosity was a strong motivation, but it was not reported in Scenario 3. Only four respondents indicated that curiosity was the reason they would seek additional information about the rumor of swine flu in a residence hall. In response to RQ1 Are college students more likely to hear breaking news from a Scenario 3 was the only scenario in which college students were most likely to seek information from a f riend before looking to the (traditional?) media. In this scenario, when participants arguably had easiest access to online information because they were in a dorm room, 22% ( n =81) of respondents reported they would get additional information about the sit uation from a friend. These participants reported asking a friend would be the easiest way to get first hand, accurate information. Seventeen percent ( n =63) of participants said they would find additional information about Scenario 3 from a print newspap er. These respondents commented in their answers to open ended questions that the print newspaper, specifically the college newspaper, was likely to cover a campus swine flu outbreak, and the campus newspaper was free. The students wrote that a print new spaper also was likely to have accurate information about the situation. In Scenario 3, 13% ( n =48) of participants reported they would get additional information from a news portal, such as Google or Yahoo! news. Participants wrote

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60 comments about how new s portals allowed them to access information from multiple sources and on a variety of subjects related to the swine flu and its treatment and prevention. Thirteen percent ( n information about Scenar io 3 from a newspaper website. Participants wrote that finding information on a newspaper site would be quick to access and easy to search. Nineteen percent ( n =15) of men and 23% ( n =66) of women reported they would contact friends first to get informatio n about the rumored virus outbreak. After friends, 17% ( n =50) of the women listed a print newspaper, and 13% (n=37) reported they would seek information from an online news portal. After friends, 18% ( n =14) of men were likely to turn to a newspaper websi te and 16% ( n =13) would go to a print newspaper for more information. Fifteen percent of men ( n =12) and 9% of women ( n =25) reported that they would not seek additional information from any of the listed sources (see Figure 4 3). Figure 4 3 Scenario 4 3 News Source by Gender

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61 News Content Participants were asked how often they accessed news content online in a typical week. Thirty two percent ( n =118) of respondents indicated they accessed news content online several times a da y while 18% ( n =67) accessed news content online once a day Fifty percent ( n =183) of the respondents reported that they accessed online news content fewer times than once a day. Students who responded that they never sought news online were asked why. On ly five of the 368 participants indicated that they never sought news online. The responses included lack of time and interest in news. The students responded that they would hear any important information from friends, family, or the print edition of the campus newspaper. Participants were asked about their likelihood of accessing each of the following online sources: national newspaper site, regional/local newspaper site, national television news site (such as CNN or Fox News), news portal (such as Goo gle News or Yahoo! News), local television news site, blog, mobile device application (such as an application for the iPhone or iPod), social networking site (such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter), or other (see Table 4 1 ). Eighty six percent ( n =315) of p articipants were somewhat likely, likely or very likely to use a news portal to seek news content online in a typical week. Eighty one percent ( n =298) said that they would go to a social networking site, followed by the 57% ( n =210) who would use a nation al news website. Thirty three percent ( n =122) of participants reported that of the news options provided they were the least likely to seek news content online from a local television news site (see Table 4 1 and Figure 4 4 ).

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62 An independent samples t test compared how men and women responded to the question about their likelihood of accessing each news source in a typical week, using a scale including 1 ( very unlikely) 2 ( unlikely ), 3 ( somewhat unlikely ), 4 ( undecided ), 5 ( somewhat likely ), 6 ( likely ), an d 7 ( very likely) Men and women reported statistically significant differences in their likelihood to access only two sources: national TV websites and social networking websites. Based on their responses, men ( M =5.05, SD =1.50) were more likely than wom en ( M =4.6, SD =1.77) to visit a national television news website in a typical week ( t (359)=2.23, p =.03). Women ( M =5.88, SD =1.72) were more likely than men ( M =5.35, SD =1.73) to get news information from a social networking website in a typical week ( t (357)= 2.38, p =.02). Table 4 1 Online sources and likelihood to access In a typical week, how likely are you to access the following source of news content online? Unlikely (1= Very unlikely, 2=Unlikely, 3=somewhat unlikely) Undecided (4 = Undecided) Likely (5=S omewhat likely 6= Likely 7= Very likely ) Online source % Likely % Undecided % Unlikely News portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) 88 1 11 Social networ king site (such as Facebook, MyS pace or Twitter) 83 4 13 National television news site (su ch as CNN or Fox News) 65 7 28 Regional/local newspaper site 60 5 35 National newspaper site 58 5 37 Blog 36 7 57 Other 36 31 33 Mobile device application (such as an application for the iPhone or iPod) 35 8 57 Local television news site 34 7 59

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63 Figure 4 4 Likelihood of Using Each Source in a Typical Week, by Gender A two tailed t test found that women ( M =3.77, SD =1.755) reported getting news content from a college newspaper more days in a typical week than men ( M =3.3 3, SD =1.723, t (368)= 1.98, p =.05). Women ( M =1.35, SD =2.05) reported they sought news information from the radio more days a week than men ( M =.80, SD =1.72, t (368)= 2.41, p=.02). Women (M=4.42, SD=2.349) reported using friends and family as a source of new s information did so more days in the typical week than men ( M =4.42, SD =2.349; t (367)= 2.99, p =.003). Use of Devices to Access News To determine the answer to RQ2: What is the extent to which college students use a particular device (desktop, laptop or mo bile device) to access news content online?, participants were asked to indicate the number of days in a typical week they used any of the following devices to access news online desktop computer, laptop computer, cell phone, or other mobile device (see Table 2 ). Participants reported using the laptop

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64 computer most often when accessing news content online. Ninety five percent ( n =325) of those responding to the questions reported they accessed web news using a laptop. Respondents reported they accessed w eb news using a laptop an average of 5.1 days per week. Users of web enabled cell phones for accessing news contend online included 42% of respondents ( n =155), and respondents reported accessing web news from their cell phones almost two days a week (1.9 days). Thirty percent ( n =108) of respondents used their desktop computers to access news content online, and respondents reported using desktops an average of 0.7 days a week to access news content online. Twelve percent ( n =45) indicated using other mobil e devices, using those devices an average of less than one day a week to access news online. A two tailed t test was used to compare the number of days men and women said they would use each of the devices (desktop computer, laptop computer, web enabled cell phone, and other web enabled mobile device) to access news content online. Men ( M =1.22, SD =2.154) used a desktop computer more than women ( M =.61, SD =1.307; t (359)=2.384, p =.02) (see Table 4 2 and Figure 4 5 ). Table 4 2 Device used in accessing news content online Average number of days used per week Number of respondents who used the device Percentage of the respondents who used the device Laptop computer 5.0 n=325 95% Cell phone 1.9 n=147 42% Desktop computer 0.7 n=108 30% Mobile device* 0.4 n =45 12% *non cell, web enabled mobile device, such as an iPod Touch or Kindle

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65 Figure 4 5 Internet News Access by Device, Gender Speed of Internet Connection rnet connection (high speed, dial up) affect the type of device he/she uses to access news content online? t he overwhelming majority of the respondents (88%, n =323) used a high speed, wireless internet connection in their homes, followed by a wired, high s peed connection (11%, n =39), and with only 1% ( n =3) using a dialup connection. Only a single respondent did not have an internet connection at home. The sample of students ( n =3) who used a dial up connection was too small for use in statistical analysis. Feelings about Online News perceive themselves more comfortable accessing news content online than college accessing news content online, men (87%, n =67) and women (85%, n =235) responded similarly. A chi square test for independence showed no statistical differences in the

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66 way that men and women reported using online and offline sources to find information in a breaking news scenario. llege men have a more t test found that when reporting their "feelings" about news online on a five point scale from 1 ( positive/strongly like ) to 5 ( negative/strongly dislike ), men ( M =1.63, SD =.737) reported slightly more positive feelings about online news than women ( M =1.82, SD =.750; t (366)= 2.009, p =.045). When asked what they liked about accessing news content online, the e news was fast, convenient, and free. In their open ended responses, students wrote that online news was updated frequently and always accessible. Instead of having to wait for a television news story of interest, students wrote that they could search f or the story immediately online. Reading news online also helped students share news with the ability to copy, paste, and forward links to others. As for the reason that students disliked online news, the most common complaint was eye strain caused by l ooking at a screen. Students were also concerned that online sources may not be as credible as other news sources. Some students said that without a mobile device to access the web, they had to be near a computer to get news online, and in those cases, a newspaper was more portable for on the go reading of the news. Several students noted that online they could be easily distracted by e mail or social networking. Several noted that they could be overwhelmed by the volume of

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67 news information online and t he fact that it was constantly updated. Some students remarked that they preferred the feeling of a newspaper in their hands, or that the print students, several noted that they disliked online news because it was responsible for a decrease in the number of jobs for print journalists, and they were concerned about th e future of print newspapers.

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68 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study was conducted during fall semester 2009 and s pring semester 2010 with undergraduate communications students in an introductory media writing course in a large public university in the southeast. The study was designed to examine news seeking behavior of Millennial college students and to see what tre nds could be determined. News Sources The results of this study showed the blur between traditional media and new media outlets. When the students in the study were asked to select the media source they would use in finding out more information on the th ree news scenarios presented, the top four choices were the same for all three scenarios print newspaper, online news portal, print newspaper website, and a friend. But of the three media news sources cited, only one, the print newspaper, was a tradition al news source. The other two media sources an online news portal and a print newspaper website represent most cases, students did report that they would seek news outle ts to find more information about a news event; however, they said they would go online to find those news sources. Traditional news organizations, such as newspapers and television and radio stations, need to be aware that their online product is going to be the source Millennials are checking for news, not their traditional outlet. Very few students in the study responded that they would turn to television or a television website to learn more information about the scenarios in the questionnaire. But onl y one student in the sample was majoring in telecommunication. As only a

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69 single telecommunications student was included in the study, the results may be different if more of these students were included. And a general population of college students, versu s communications majors, may have responded differently in terms of using television news. In evaluating whether they would want to know more information for sample news scenarios, the vast majority of the students reported that they would seek more inform ation about all three of the scenarios. They noted being motivated by curiosity and the desire to know more about their environment, and they were particularly interested in learning more about those issues that could affect them personally. The implicat ion is that local media need to capitalize on that desire to learn more and focus on providing that hyperlocal coverage, reporting the news that would drive Millennials to the web to learn more, particularly about local news events, such as those used in t he three scenarios. In Scenario 3, students mentioned an information evident in the comments for the other two scenarios Students wrote they were likely to seek more information about a swine flu outbreak in the dorms not to get more information about the situation on campus but to learn more about the flu symptoms and tips for prevention. Media organizations could increase the usability of their online articles and take advantage of the benefits of online functionality by linking articles to useful information for readers. For example, an article about the swine flu could include a sidebar with links to the Centers for Disease Control website for additional swine flu information. An article about a restaurant closed b y the Health Department could link to restaurant inspection reports online. Connecting users to additional information might

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70 would encourage users to make it one of their most used sites. Device Use and Accessing News Online An important finding of this study was confirming how students accessed news online. Fifty one percent of the college students in this study accessed news content online at least once daily, and near ly a third accessed news content online several times a day. Only five of the 368 participants reported never seeking news content online. Laptop computers were the most often for accessing news online. Ninety five computer at least one day a week to access news content online. Participants used a laptop an average of 5.1 days per week to access news content online. The second most used way of accessing news online was with a web enabled cell phone. Forty two percent of the participants used a web enabled phone to access news content. Almost every day they used their phones to access the web, they also looked at news content online. These results indicate that the M illennials in this study were seeking news in a mobile way on their laptops, smart phones, or other web enabled mobile devices more than five days a week, again supporting the importance of delivering news in an up to the minute manner for immediate ne ws access. Clay Shirky compared the changes in news control and distribution caused by the printing press to changes caused by modern technology advancements, from the internet p roviding a new news delivery system to Craigslist changing the newspaper business model. The results of this study of college students in 2009 and 2010 and

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71 their news acquisition was un derway. such as those for the iPhone or iPod Touch, were not widely used. Before Apple started presale of its new iPad mobile tablet device in March 2010 for an April relea se, media organizations were already working to develop content for the iPad device (Luckie, 2010). The larger screen size of the iPad may combat some of the eye strain problems students noted in accessing news content online. The iPad also will provide c Nook, which have provided news content. These tablet devices can also provide a news navigation system that will be easier to use for readers. Also, release of new mobile de vices and web enabled cell phones may decrease device prices and make some of them more affordable to a larger population. the power of the devices they own. Mass communications instructors want their students to be avid news readers, so including information about how to use online tools such as RSS readers and devices such as web enabled cell phones and other mobile devices in their classes might encourage students to seek news online in ways they Gender and News Online accessing online news sources. Both in their responses to the question about their comfort seeking news online and in ex amining the sources that men and women said they would access in a breaking news scenario, men did not report being more

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72 comfortable online nor being more likely to use an online source than women. This finding may indicate that in a generation where use o f computers and the internet is so ubiquitous that both genders have had the opportunity to become comfortable in using computer technology. Both women and men reported overwhelmingly positive feelings toward online news content. Participants wrote commen ts about what they liked and disliked about online news content revealed that students liked the ease with which they could find news online, the quickness with which news content was posted online, and the availability of news from multiple sources. They disliked eye strain from reading online and the overwhelming amount of information and the number of sources online. They were concerned about the accuracy of information posted online and the credibility of the sources of news information. In designin g online news content, news organizations should develop an online delivery of news in that way that reduces eye strain. News websites should be designed so that they are easy to navigate both with the visual design of the page and with search functions. For the students participating in this study, 85% of respondents reported that they were likely to use a news portal in a typical week to find news content online. The popularity of news portals may be in part due to their design, which does not follow the newspaper page design that many newspapers have used in creating their online news sites. Portals also compile stories from many different sources in a single, online location, making it very easy to check a variety of sources through a single site. In 2010, Pew research (Purcell et al., 2010) found that people used multiple platforms to get their news information. Similarly, students in this study wrote

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73 comments saying that they were still reading a print newspaper in addition to reading news online. technology to access news content. Most students in the study were regular readers of the free campus newspaper. Newspaper organizations will need to keep in mind that, as they increase the use of the online medium, that some readers, both in the Millennial and other g enerations, still prefer a print product. The survey findings also have implications for college communications programs. The communication students in this study were comfortable using the internet to search for and access information. Communications instructors could take advantage of access both on a desktop or laptop computer and on a mobile device such as a web enabled cell phone or the iPod Touch. Students in this study were online for a variety of reasons many wrote comments saying they liked online news because they could access it quickly when they had gone online for email, instant messaging, or to log on to a social network site. Communications progr ams should use this information to reach students where they are online on their laptops or cell phones. Knowing that so many students have and use their laptops and cell phones to access the internet may mean that a university could implement a method that uses those devices to notify students of breaking news events that could affect them on campus. Beyond using mobile devices and online materials, this has course content implications. If the Millennials are obtaining news primarily from news portals and social

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74 network sites, the communications curriculum should include how to prepare and present news for those delivery methods. Newspapers and other traditional media organizations are hiring fewer new employees and, beginning in about 2005, were layin g off their current employees. So the jobs for new communications graduates for producing news may be with news portals and social networking organizations. A curriculum that reflects the changes in media acquisition and expectations can help current gradu ates be competitive for job opportunities. Qualities of Online News College students in this study supported what the young people in the 2008 Associated Press study reported. They wanted depth from their news coverage. Participants wrote comments saying they disliked online news content that was posted quickly without details or updated frequently without adding new or substantial details. Students in this study reported being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of news information available online, but the y were disappointed when multiple stories covered the same set of limited details in an effort to have something posted to the web quickly. The implication for news organizations is the importance of prompt posting of updated news stories on the organizat was not enough for the participants in this study. They indicated that they would continue to seek updated information about a situation, so they needed news sites that would continue to add inform ation as it became available. Readers in this study were also concerned about stories being accurate. News websites that have accurate information will build a following. The study indicated that students would appreciate a site that indicates when it h as made a mistake or had posted corrected information.

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75 The students in the survey also wanted online content to be easily searchable. They complained that they could become overwhelmed by the amount of information available online, and they had trouble, at times, finding the news information they were There is so much information and it is sometimes difficult to sort through it all and find the best place for information. to model online sites in wa ys that make it easy to find breaking news information. Many newspaper websites began as an online site that mimicked the printed newspaper page, but it may be time to move away from that model to one that is more streamlined for the needs of the online a udience. News organizations, even those that restrict archive access to subscribers or registered users, need to provide easily searchable archives or the ability to tag articles for easier searching. Offering users a way to tag or bookmark articles of in terest would make it easier for users to find those articles later. Many in the study received or shared news content with friends, so a way to share bookmarked stories might be of interest to this group. As Flavian and Gurrea (2008) reported, people ten d to go to only few sites and to sites that are the most user friendly and familiar to them when they are in search of news information. A news organization's online site that provides depth of coverage, frequently updates news stories, posts accurate inf ormation and makes prompt corrections, and is easy to search desired could become one of go to news sources this Internet Connection Internet connection speed was not an issue among the students in this study as 98% of the participants had wired high speed or wireless high speed connections. Only three of the 368 survey participants had a dial up internet connection, Based on this

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76 almost universal access to high speed internet that news consumers, at least th e news consumers in this study, have, news organizations can create online news content, such as video or audio files, that requires high speed access without leaving behind these readers. In their current home and school setups, students were prepared wit h the high speed connection that greater functionality would require. News organizations should work to provide content, such as photos galleries and video, that goes beyond what is available in a print only medium. Future Research The participants in th is study were all communications students, who arguably had a vested interest in news delivery and consumption. News consumption habits and the motivations to seek news information may be different in this sample than in a sample that included a wider var iety of majors. Future research could expand the sample to look at students in several different colleges at the university or to look at students from several different universities. Future research should also look at a larger population of Millennials outside the college environment. The students in this study attended a university that required every student to have access to a computer. That university computer requirement, which was reinforced by a computer requirement in the communications college, meant that the students in this study were very likely to have a computer. In addition, the university provided wireless access with the use of a university computer account, and the city itself provided wireless access locations, in addition to apartment complexes and businesses, thus promoting the use of portable web enabled laptops and cell phones. A larger, random sample study of media use by Millennials could also examine differences in Millennials who have and have not attended college. By expandin g the

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77 study to the larger population of Millennials through a larger random sample study, researchers could see how results are affected b y ubiquitous wireless access and by level of education. Additionally, research using a larger random sample could ex amine the way men and women approach technology related to news content on the internet. If so, college efficacy with technology because men and women showed no differenc e in their comfort using online sources. Finally, on going research on the diffusion of mobile devices to access news content is needed to follow changes in the use of mobile devices and predict trends. While mobile devices such as the iPod Touch and Kind le were not widely used in this study, the release of new devices such as the iPad make mobile devices a valuable potential market for media organizations and long term research about news consumption using mobile devices is warranted. Ongoing research on of technology and news seeking behavior can help document and predict adoption trends.

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78 APPENDIX A S URVEY INSTRUMENT 1. What is your section number? 2. What is your gender? 1 Male 2 Female 3. What is your age? 4. What is your a cademic status? 1 Freshman 2 Sophomore 3 Junior 4 Senior 5 Other 5. What is your major? 1 Advertising 2 Journalism 3 Public relations 4 Other Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page. Scenario 1: You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and firefighters in the area, but you can't see an obvious reason why they are there and you aren't able to as k the officers what is happening. 6. How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening? 1 Extremely important 2 Somewhat important 3 Neither important or unimportant 4 Somewhat unimportant 5 Not at all important 7. How likel y are you to seek additional information about the situation? 1 Very likely 2 Likely 3 Somewhat likely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat unlikely 6 Unlikely 7 Very unlikely

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79 8. Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information? 9. What m ethod would you use to seek additional information? 1 Blog 2 Family member/parents 3 Friend 4 Mobile device application 5 Print newspaper 6 Newspaper Web site 7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) 8 Radio 9 Social netw orking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace) 10 Television 11 Television station Web site 12 Twitter 13 Text message 14 Other 15 I would not seek additional information about the situation 10. Why would you respond in that way? Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page. Scenario 2: You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on campus. When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and there is a notice on all the counters sayin g that it has been closed by order of the Health Department. 11. How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening? 1 Extremely important 2 Somewhat important 3 Neither important or unimportant 4 Somewhat unimportant 5 Not at all important 12. How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation? 1 Very likely 2 Likely 3 Somewhat likely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat unlikely 6 Unlikely 7 Very unlikely 13. Why are you likely or unlikely to seek addit ional information?

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80 14. What method would you use to seek additional information? 1 Blog 2 Family member/parents 3 Friend 4 Mobile device application 5 Print newspaper 6 Newspaper Web site 7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) 8 Radio 9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace) 10 Television 11 Television station Web site 12 Twitter 13 Text message 14 Other 15 I would not seek additional information about the situation 15. Why would you res pond in that way? Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page. Scenario 3: You are in your dorm room when your roommate tells you that the swine flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick. 16. How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening? 1 Extremely important 2 Somewhat important 3 Neither important or unimportant 4 Somewhat unimportant 5 Not at all important 17. How likely are you to seek additional inf ormation about the situation? 1 Very likely 2 Likely 3 Somewhat likely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat unlikely 6 Unlikely 7 Very unlikely 18. Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information?

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8 1 19. What method would you use to seek ad ditional information? 1 Blog 2 Family member/parents 3 Friend 4 Mobile device application 5 Print newspaper 6 Newspaper Web site 7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) 8 Radio 9 Social networking Web site (such as Faceb ook or MySpace) 10 Television 11 Television station Web site 12 Twitter 13 Text message 14 Other 15 I would not seek additional information about the situation 20. Why would you respond in that way? The following questions ask about your exp erience using the Internet to access news content online. For the purpose of the questions on this page, consider entertainment or celebrity news. 21. In a typical week, how often do you access news content via the Internet? 1 Several times a day 2 Once a day 3 5+ times a week 4 3 4 times a week 5 1 2 times a week 6 Less than once a week 7 Never 22. If never, why not? 23. In a typical week, how many days do y ou use each of the following devices to access online news content? 1 Desktop computer 2 Laptop computer 3 Cell phone with access to the Internet 4 Other mobile device with access to the Internet (such as an iPod Touch)

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82 24. In a typical week, ho w likely are you to access the following source of news content online? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Question Very Unlikely Unlikely Somewhat Unlikely Undecided Somewhat Likely Likely Very Likely National newspaper site Regional/local newspaper site National television news site (such as CNN or Fox News) News portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) Local television news site Blog Mobile device application (such as an application for the iPhone or iPod) Social networking site (such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter) Other 25. How comfortable do you consider yourself accessing news content online? 1 Very comfortable 2 Somewhat comfortable 3 Neutr al 4 Somewhat uncomfortable 5 Very uncomfortable 26. What do you like about accessing news online? 27. What do you dislike about accessing news online? 28. How would you describe your feelings toward news content online? 1 Positive/strongly l ike 2 Like 3 Neutral 4 Dislike 5 Negative/strongly dislike

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83 29. How many days in a typical week do you get news from the following sources? College newspaper Local/regional newspaper National newspaper Radio Television Family/friends Online sourc e Other Source, other text The following questions ask about the type of Internet access you have at your home and outside your home. For the purpose of questions 16 through 18, 30. Which of the fo llowing types of Internet connections do you have at your home? 1 Dial up 2 High speed 3 High speed, wireless/Wi Fi 4 Other 5 None I do not have an Internet connection at my home 31. In a typical week, where do you use high speed Internet out side your home? 1 School/campus 2 Work 3 Friend/family home 4 Public library 5 Internet caf 6 Other 7 N/A I do not use high speed Internet on a weekly basis outside my home. 32. In a typical week, how many days do you use high speed Inte rnet outside your home? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 33. In a typical week, where do you use wireless Interne t outside your home? 1 School/campus 2 Work 3 Friend/family home 4 Public library 5 Internet caf 6 Other 7 N/A I do not use wireless Internet on a weekly basis outside my home.

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84 34. In a typical week, how many days do you access Wi Fi/wir eless Internet outside your home? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The following questions ask about the type of d evices you own or regularly use. For the purpose of the questions on this page, think about the devices you use in a typical week they might include your personal equipment or something you 35. Which of the follow ing do you own or regularly have access to use? (Select all that apply) Desktop computer Laptop computer Cell phone with access to the Web Mobile device (other than a cell phone) with access to the Web (such as an iPod Touch or Kindle) Other None 36. Ho w long have you used the following devices on a weekly basis? Question Less than a year 1 3 years 3 7 years More than seven years Desktop computer Laptop computer Cell phone Other mobile device 37. In a typical week, how many days do you use each of the following devices to access the Internet? Desktop computer Laptop computer Cell phone Other mobile device

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85 APPENDIX B VARIABLE DEFINITIONS Variable Question and responses 3 What is your gender? 1 Male 2 Female 4 W hat is your age? 5 What is your academic status? 1 Freshman 2 Sophomore 3 Junior 4 Senior 5 Other 5Text Academic status, Other 6 What is your major? 1 Advertising 2 Journalism 3 Public relations 4 Other 6Text Major, Other Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page. Scenario 1: You are on the bus on your way to campus and you count six police cars and three fire trucks near the Reitz Union. You can see several officers and firefighters in the area but you can't see an obvious reason why they are there and you aren't able to ask the officers what is happening. 7 How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening? 1 Extremely important 2 Somewhat important 3 Neither important o r unimportant 4 Somewhat unimportant 5 Not at all important 8 How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation? 1 Very likely 2 Likely 3 Somewhat likely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat unlikely 6 Unlikely 7 Very unlikely 9 W hy are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information? 10 What method would you use to seek additional information? 1 Blog 2 Family member/parents 3 Friend 4 Mobile device application

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86 5 Print newspaper 6 Newspaper Web site 7 Online ne ws portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) 8 Radio 9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace) 10 Television 11 Television station Web site 12 Twitter 13 Text message 14 Other 15 I would not seek additional information ab out the situation 10Text Method, Other 11 Why would you respond that way? Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page. Scenario 2: You are planning to have lunch at your favorite restaurant on campus. When you get to the food court, the restaurant is closed and there is a notice on all the counters saying that it has been closed by order of the Health Department. 12 How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening? 1 Extremely important 2 Somewh at important 3 Neither important or unimportant 4 Somewhat unimportant 5 Not at all important 13 How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation? 1 Very likely 2 Likely 3 Somewhat likely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat unlikel y 6 Unlikely 7 Very unlikely 14 Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information? 15 What method would you use to seek additional information? 1 Blog 2 Family member/parents 3 Friend 4 Mobile device application 5 Print newspape r 6 Newspaper Web site 7 Online news portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) 8 Radio 9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace) 10 Television 11 Television station Web site 12 Twitter

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87 13 Text message 14 Other 15 I wo uld not seek additional information about the situation 15Text Method, Other 16 Why would you respond that way? Think about the following scenario while answering the questions on this page. Scenario 3: You are in your dorm room when your roommate tell s you that the swine flu has hit another residence hall on campus making half the students sick. 17 How important is it to you to learn more about what is happening? 1 Extremely important 2 Somewhat important 3 Neither important or unimportant 4 S omewhat unimportant 5 Not at all important 18 How likely are you to seek additional information about the situation? 1 Very likely 2 Likely 3 Somewhat likely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat unlikely 6 Unlikely 7 Very unlikely 19 Why are you likely or unlikely to seek additional information? 20 What method would you use to seek additional information? 1 Blog 2 Family member/parents 3 Friend 4 Mobile device application 5 Print newspaper 6 Newspaper Web site 7 Online news portal (such a s Google News or Yahoo! News) 8 Radio 9 Social networking Web site (such as Facebook or MySpace) 10 Television 11 Television station Web site 12 Twitter 13 Text message 14 Other 15 I would not seek additional information about the situation 20Text Method, Other 21 Why would you respond that way? The following questions ask about your experience using the Internet to access news content online. For the purpose of the questions on this page, consider ent and important events, not including entertainment or celebrity news.

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88 22 In a typical week, how often do you access news content via the Internet? 1 Several times a day 2 Once a day 3 5+ times a week 4 3 4 times a week 5 1 2 times a week 6 Less than once a week 7 Never 23 If never, why not? In a typical week, how many days do you use each of the following devices to access online news content? 24 Desktop computer 25 Laptop computer 26 Cell phone with access to the Internet 27 Other m obile device with access to the Internet (such as an iPod Touch) In a typical week, how likely are you to access the following source of news content online? 28 National newspaper site 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 29 Regional/local newspaper site 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 30 National television news site (such as CNN or Fox News) 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 31 News portal (such as Google News or Yahoo! News) 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided

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89 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 32 Local television news site 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 33 Blog 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 34 Mobile device application (such as an application for the iPhone or iPod) 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 35 Social networking site (s uch as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter) 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Likely 7 Very likely 36 Other 1 Very unlikely 2 Unlikely 3 Somewhat unlikely 4 Undecided 5 Somewhat likely 6 Like ly 7 Very likely 36Text News source, Other 37 How comfortable do you consider yourself accessing news content online? 1 Very comfortable

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90 2 Somewhat comfortable 3 Neutral 4 Somewhat uncomfortable 5 Very uncomfortable 38 What do you like about accessing news online? 39 What do you dislike about accessing news content online? 40 How would you describe your feelings toward news content online? 1 Positive/strongly like 2 Like 3 Neutral 4 Dislike 5 Negative/strongly dislike The followi ng question asks about the sources (both online and off) where you get your information about recent and important events, not including entertainment or celebrity news. How many days in a typical week do you get news from the following sources? 41 College newspaper 42 Local/regional newspaper 43 National newspaper 44 Radio 45 Television 46 Family/friends 47 Online source 48 Other 48Text Source, other text The f ollowing questions ask about the type of Internet access you have at your home and outside your home. For the purpose of questions 16 through 18, 49 Which of the following types of Internet connectio ns do you have at your home? 1 Dial up 2 High speed 3 High speed, wireless/Wi Fi 4 Other 5 None I do not have an Internet connection at my home 49Text Connection, Other text 50 In a typical week, where do you use high speed Internet outside y our home? 1 School/campus 2 Work 3 Friend/family home 4 Public library 5 Internet caf 6 Other 7 N/A I do not use high speed Internet on a weekly basis outside my home.

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91 50Text High speed, Other text 51 In a typical week, how many days do you use high speed Internet outside your home? 52 In a typical week, where do you use wireless Internet outside your home? 1 School/campus 2 Work 3 Friend/family home 4 Public library 5 Internet caf 6 Other 7 N/A I do not use wireless In ternet on a weekly basis outside my home. 52Text Where, other text 53 In a typical week, how many days do you access Wi Fi/wireless Internet outside your home? The following questions ask about the type of devices you own or regularly use. For the purp ose of the questions on this page, think about the devices you use in a typical week they might include your personal equipment or something you use 54 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use? Desktop computer 55 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use? Laptop computer 56 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use? Cell phone with access to the Web 57 Which of the following do you own or regul arly have access to use? Mobile device (other than a cell phone) with access to the Web (such as an iPod Touch or Kindle) 57Text Mobile, text 58 Which of the following do you own or regularly have access to use? Other 59 Other, text 60 Which of the fo llowing do you own or regularly have access to use? None How long have you used the following devices on a weekly basis? 61 Desktop computer 1 Less than a year 2 1 3 years 3 3 7 years 4 More than 7 years 62 Laptop computer 1 Less than a year 2 1 3 years 3 3 7 years 4 More than 7 years 63 Cell phone 1 Less than a year

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92 2 1 3 years 3 3 7 years 4 More than 7 years 64 Other mobile device 1 Less than a year 2 1 3 years 3 3 7 years 4 More than 7 years 64Text Mobile, other tex t In a typical week, how may days do you use each of the following devices to access the Internet? 65 Desktop computer 66 Laptop computer 67 Cell phone 68 Other mobile device 68Text Mobile, Other text

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93 APPENDIX C FREQUENCY TABLES Gender Frequen cy Percent Valid 1 79 21.5 2 289 78.5 Total 368 100.0 Ages all Frequency Percent Valid 17 1 .3 18 39 10.6 19 183 49.7 20 109 29.6 21 22 6.0 22 7 1.9 23 3 .8 24 2 .5 30 1 .3 31 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 Age removing o utliers Frequency Percent Valid 18 39 10.8 19 183 50.8 20 109 30.3 21 22 6.1 22 7 1.9 Total 360 100.0 Age outliers Frequency Percent Valid 17 1 12.5 23 3 37.5 24 2 25.0 30 1 12.5 31 1 12.5 Total 8 100.0 Aca demic status Frequency Percent Valid 1 46 12.5 2 218 59.2 3 103 28.0 4 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 Major Frequency Percent Valid 1 122 33.2 2 116 31.5 3 117 31.8 4 13 3.5 Total 368 100.0 V7 Frequency Percent Valid 1 .3 1 141 38.3 2 195 53.0 3 22 6.0 4 9 2.4 Total 368 100.0

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94 V8 Frequency Percent Valid 2 .5 1 119 32.3 2 131 35.6 3 81 22.0 4 12 3.3 5 15 4.1 6 8 2.2 Total 368 100.0 V10 Frequency Percent Valid 1 5 1.4 2 6 1.6 3 64 1 7.4 4 10 2.7 5 39 10.6 6 82 22.3 7 79 21.5 8 2 .5 9 20 5.4 10 16 4.3 11 4 1.1 12 3 .8 13 18 4.9 14 20 5.4 Total 368 100.0 V12 Frequency Percent Valid 1 163 44.3 2 160 43.5 3 33 9.0 4 11 3.0 5 1 .3 Tot al 368 100.0 V13 Frequency Percent Valid 1 144 39.1 2 95 25.8 3 71 19.3 4 21 5.7 5 25 6.8 6 11 3.0 7 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 V15 Frequency Percent Valid 1 1 .3 2 4 1.1 3 53 14.4 4 5 1.4 5 97 26.4 6 68 18.5 7 71 1 9.3 9 8 2.2 10 7 1.9 12 1 .3 13 9 2.4 14 26 7.1 15 18 4.9 Total 368 100.0 V17 Frequency Percent Valid 1 179 48.6 2 117 31.8 3 37 10.1 4 21 5.7 5 14 3.8 Total 368 100.0

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95 V18 Frequency Percent Valid 1 156 42. 4 2 77 20.9 3 57 15.5 4 19 5.2 5 24 6.5 6 21 5.7 7 14 3.8 Total 368 100.0 V20 Frequency Percent Valid 3 .8 1 1 .3 2 4 1.1 3 81 22.0 4 4 1.1 5 63 17.1 6 46 12.5 7 48 13.0 9 20 5.4 10 10 2.7 13 10 2.7 14 41 11.1 15 37 10.1 Total 368 100.0 V22 Frequency Percent Valid 1 118 32.1 2 67 18.2 3 30 8.2 4 60 16.3 5 64 17.4 6 24 6.5 7 5 1.4 Total 368 100.0 V24 Desktop computer Frequency Percent Valid 6 1.7 0 253 70.1 1 48 13.3 2 25 6.9 3 11 3.0 4 7 1.9 5 5 1.4 6 1 .3 7 11 3.0 Total 361 100.0 n=361 M=0.739612 V24 Desktop computer (invalid) Frequency Percent Invalid 10 1 100.0 Total 1 100.0

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96 V25 Laptop computer Frequency Percent Valid 5 1.5 0 16 4.7 1 26 7.6 2 32 9.4 3 23 6.7 4 20 5.9 5 43 12.6 6 11 3.2 7 170 49.9 Total 341 101.5 n=341 M=5.014663 V25 Laptop computer (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 8 1 4.5 10 8 36.4 14 2 9.1 15 1 4.5 20 3 13.6 21 1 4.5 25 1 4.5 30 2 9.1 35 1 4.5 50 1 4.5 100 1 4.5 Total 22 100.0 V26 Cell phone Frequency Percent Valid 6 1.7 0 207 58.5 1 22 6.2 2 19 5.4 3 15 4.2 4 5 1.4 5 24 6.8 6 2 .6 7 60 16.9 Total 354 100.0 n=354 M=1.912429 V26 Cell phone (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 8 1 12.5 10 3 37.5 100 2 25.0 20 1 12.5 25 1 12.5 Total 8 100.0 V27 Other mo bile device Frequency Percent Valid 5 1.4 0 317 87.6 1 13 3.6 2 3 .8 3 8 2.2 4 7 1.9 5 4 1.1 6 2 .6 7 8 2.2 Total 362 100.0 n=362 M=0.439227

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97 V27 Other mobile device (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 50 1 100.0 Tota l 1 100.0 V28 Frequency Percent Valid 5 1.4 1 31 8.4 2 49 13.3 3 55 14.9 4 18 4.9 5 85 23.1 6 53 14.4 7 72 19.6 Total 368 100.0 V29 Frequency Percent Valid 11 3.0 1 34 9.2 2 38 10.3 3 53 14.4 4 17 4.6 5 111 30.2 6 65 17.7 7 39 10.6 Total 368 100.0 V30 Frequency Percent Valid 9 2.4 1 18 4.9 2 29 7.9 3 55 14.9 4 25 6.8 5 103 28.0 6 71 19.3 7 58 15.8 Total 368 100.0 V31 Frequency Percent Valid 8 2.2 1 9 2.4 2 16 4.3 3 15 4.1 4 5 1.4 5 57 15.5 6 95 25.8 7 163 44.3 Total 368 100.0 V32 Frequency Percent Valid 7 1.9 1 65 17.7 2 79 21.5 3 68 18.5 4 27 7.3 5 76 20.7 6 29 7.9 7 17 4.6 Total 368 100.0

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98 V33 Frequ ency Percent Valid 10 2.7 1 86 23.4 2 58 15.8 3 61 16.6 4 25 6.8 5 61 16.6 6 41 11.1 7 26 7.1 Total 368 100.0 V34 Frequency Percent Valid 8 2.2 1 126 34.2 2 54 14.7 3 24 6.5 4 29 7.9 5 37 10.1 6 39 10.6 7 51 13. 9 Total 368 100.0 V35 Frequency Percent Valid 11 3.0 1 20 5.4 2 12 3.3 3 13 3.5 4 14 3.8 5 48 13.0 6 71 19.3 7 179 48.6 Total 368 100.0 V36 Frequency Percent Valid 326 88.6 1 9 2.4 2 1 .3 3 4 1.1 4 13 3.5 5 6 1.6 6 2 .5 7 7 1.9 Total 368 100.0 V37 Frequency Percent Valid 9 2.4 1 243 66.0 2 59 16.0 3 16 4.3 4 9 2.4 5 32 8.7 Total 368 100.0 V40 Frequency Percent Valid 1 146 39.7 2 162 44.0 3 54 14.7 4 6 1.6 Tot al 368 100.0

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99 V41 Days College newspaper Frequency Percent Valid 0 23 6.3 1 26 7.1 2 54 14.7 3 44 12.0 4 55 14.9 5 147 39.9 Total 349 100.0 n 349 M=3.498567 V41 Days College newspaper Frequency Percent Valid 6 2 10.0 7 17 90.0 Total 19 100.0 V42 Days Local/regional newspaper Frequency Percent Valid 0 250 67.9 1 42 11.4 2 30 8.2 3 21 5.7 4 5 1.4 5 12 3.3 6 3 .8 7 5 1.4 Total 368 100.0 V43 Days National newspa per Frequency Percent Valid 0 234 63.6 1 28 7.6 2 26 7.1 3 18 4.9 4 17 4.6 5 21 5.7 6 3 .8 7 21 5.7 Total 368 100.0 V44 Days Radio Frequency Percent Valid 0 231 62.8 1 27 7.3 2 35 9.5 3 22 6.0 4 13 3.5 5 20 5.4 6 3 .8 7 17 4.6 Total 368 100.0 V45 Days Television Frequency Percent Valid 0 87 23.6 1 32 8.7 2 48 13.0 3 61 16.6 4 44 12.0 5 32 8.7 6 11 3.0 7 52 14.1 Total 368 100.0 n=368 M=2.953804

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100 V46 Days Family/friends Frequency Percent Valid 0 47 12.8 1 18 4.9 10 1 .3 2 33 9.0 3 47 12.8 4 41 11.1 5 51 13.9 6 13 3.5 7 117 31.8 Total 368 100.0 n=368 M=4.214674 V47 Days Online source Frequency Percent Valid 0 43 11.7 1 17 4.6 10 1 .3 2 34 9.2 20 1 .3 3 27 7.3 4 35 9.5 5 47 12.8 6 20 5.4 7 142 38.6 8 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 n=368 M=4.600543 V48 Days Other Frequency Percent Valid 0 366 99.5 2 1 .3 4 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 n=36 8 M=0.016304 V49 Frequency Percent Valid 2 .5 1 3 .8 2 38 10.3 3 321 87.2 4 3 .8 5 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 V50 Where high speed used outside home Frequency Percent Valid 1 .3 1 265 72.0 2 8 2.2 3 28 7.6 4 16 4.3 5 3 .8 6 9 2.4 7 38 10.3 Total 368 100.0

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101 V51 High speed outside home Frequency Percent Valid 2 .7 2 50 18.7 3 32 11.9 4 49 18.3 5 50 18.7 6 35 13.1 7 52 19.4 Total 268 100.0 n=268 M=4.537313 V51 High speed outside home (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 8 16 16.3 9 82 83.7 Total 98 100.0 V52 Where wireless used outside home Frequency Percent Valid 3 .8 1 297 80.7 2 3 .8 3 20 5.4 4 12 3.3 5 6 1.6 6 8 2.2 7 19 5.2 Total 368 100.0 V53 Wireless outside home Frequency Percent Valid 3 10.3 1 26 89.7 Total 29 100.0 V53 Wireless outside home (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 8 26 7.7 9 51 15.0 10 47 13.9 11 45 13.3 12 54 15.9 13 21 6.2 14 95 28.0 Total 339 100.0 V54 Own desktop Frequency Percent Valid 275 74.7 1 93 25.3 Total 368 100.0 V55 Own laptop Frequency Percent Valid 12 3.3 1 356 96.7 Total 368 100.0 V56 Own c ell phone with web Frequency Percent Valid 191 51.9 1 177 48.1 Total 368 100.0

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102 V57 Own other mobile device Frequency Percent Valid 319 86.7 1 49 13.3 Total 368 100.0 V58 Own other Frequency Percent Valid 364 98.9 1 4 1.1 Total 368 100.0 V59 Frequency Percent Valid 364 98.9 Cell phone with no access to web 1 .3 cell phone without web access? 1 .3 cell phone without internet 1 .3 Kindle e reader 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 V60 Own none Fr equency Percent Valid 367 99.7 1 1 .3 Total 368 100.0 V61 Length of use Desktop Frequency Percent Valid 102 27.7 1 36 9.8 2 22 6.0 3 59 16.0 4 149 40.5 Total 368 100.0 V62 Length of use Laptop Frequency Percent Valid 5 1.4 1 16 4.3 2 186 50.5 3 123 33.4 4 38 10.3 Total 368 100.0 V63 Length of use Cell phone Frequency Percent Valid 48 13.0 1 36 9.8 2 63 17.1 3 159 43.2 4 62 16.8 Total 368 100.0 V64 Length of use Mobile device Frequency Percent Valid 315 85.6 1 33 9.0 2 11 3.0 3 5 1.4 4 4 1.1 Total 368 100.0

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103 V65 Days to access web Desktop Frequency Percent Valid 2 .5 0 245 67.1 1 32 8.8 2 23 6.3 3 22 6.0 4 12 3.3 5 12 3.3 6 1 .3 7 18 4.9 Total 365 100.0 n=365 M=1.052055 V65 Days to access web Desktop (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 10 1 100.0 Total 1 100.0 V66 Days to access web Laptop Frequency Percent Valid 1 .3 0 10 2.8 1 3 .8 2 4 1.1 3 1 .3 4 5 1.4 5 11 3.1 6 7 1.9 7 318 88.6 Total 359 100.0 n=359 M=6.56546 V66 Days to access web Laptop (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 9 1 12.5 10 3 37.5 20 1 12.5 30 1 12.5 50 1 12.5 100 1 12.5 Total 8 100.0 V67 Days to access web Cell phone Frequency Percent Valid 1 .3 0 178 49.0 1 9 2.5 2 13 3.6 3 5 1.4 4 6 1.7 5 11 3.0 6 5 1.4 7 136 37.5 Total 363 100.0 n=363 M=3.060606 V67 Days to access web Cell phone (invalid) Frequency Percent Valid 10 1 25.0 20 1 25.0 25 1 25.0 50 1 25.0 Total 4 100.0

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104 V68 Days to access web Mobile device Frequency Percent Valid 1 .3 0 337 91.6 1 1 .3 2 7 1.9 3 5 1.4 4 5 1.4 5 3 .8 6 1 .3 7 8 2.2 Total 367 100.0 n=367 M=0.346049

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105 LIST OF REFERENCES Ahlers, D. (2006, Winter2006). News Consumption and the New Electronic Media. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 11 (1), 29 52. Arango, T. (2009, April 27). Fall in Newspaper Sales Accelerates to Pass 7%. New York Times Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/business/media/ 28paper.html Associated Press. (June 2008). A new model for news: Studying the deep structure of y oung adult news consumption. Retrieved from: http://www.ap.org/newmodel.pdf Broos, A. (2005, February). Gender and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Anxiety: Male Self Assurance and Female Hesitation. CyberPsychology & Behavior 8 (1), 21 31. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010 11 Edition, News Analysts, Reporters, and Correspondents. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos088.htm Chang, B., Lee, S., & Kim, B. (2006, April). Exploring factors affecting the adopt ion and continuance of online games among college students in South Korea: Integrating uses and gratification and diffusion of innovation approaches. New Media & Society 8 (2), 295 319. Chen, Y., & Corkindale, D. (2008). Towards an understanding of the beh avioral intention to use online news services: An exploratory study. Internet Research 18 (3), 286 312. doi:10.1108/10662240810883326. Corston, R., & Colman, A.M. (1996). Gender and social facilitation effects on computer competence and attitudes toward co mputers. Journal of Educational Computing Research 14:171 183. D'Haenens, L., Jankowski, N., & Heuvelman, A. (2004, June). News in online and print newspapers: differences in reader consumption and recall. New Media & Society 6 (3), 363 382. Diddi, A., & L aRose, R. (2006, June). Getting Hooked on News: Uses and Gratifications and the Formation of News Habits Among College Students in an Internet Environment. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50 (2), 193 210. Distribution by college/major/race for s pring 2010 term [Data file]. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Fallows, Deborah. How women and men use the internet. Pew Internet and American Life Project, December 2005, http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports /2005/PIP_Women_and_Men_on line.pdf.pdf, accessed March 9, 2010

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107 Kohut, A., Bowman, C., & Petrella, M. Technology in the American household: Research Center for People & The Press. October 1995, http://people p ress.org/reports/pdf/136.pdf accessed on March 9, 2010. Kohut, A., Doherty, C., Dimock, M., & Keeter, S. Audience segments in a changing news environment: Key news audiences now blend online and traditional sources. The Pew Research Center for People & T he Press. August 2008, http://people press.org/reports/pdf/444.pdf. LaRose, R., & Eastin, M. (2004, September). A Social Cognitive Theory of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Model of Media Attendance. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Medi a 48 (3), 358 377. LaRose, R., Mastro, D., & Eastin, M. (2001, November). Understanding Internet Usage: A Social Cognitive Approach to Uses and Gratifications. Social Science Computer Review 19 (4), 395. Leung, L., & Wei, R. (2000, Summer2000). More than j ust talk on the move: Uses and gratifications of the cellular phone. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 77 (2), 308 320. Vol. 39, pp. 79 89. Luckie, M. (March 5, 2010). Why news media should not wait to develop iPad apps. 10,000 Words: Where journalism and technology meet Retrieved from http://www.10000words.net/2010/03/why news media should not wait to.html rds computers as a function of gender, course subjects and availability of home computers. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 7:187 194. Communication, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 39 50. M cQuail, D., Blumler, J., & Brown, J. R. (1972). The television audience: a revised perspective. Sociology of Mass Communications Nguyen, A., & Western, M. (2007, June). Socio structural correlates of online news and information adoption/use. Journal of Sociology 43 (2), 167 185. Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, J. (2005) Is it age or IT: First steps toward understanding the Net Generation, in Educating the Net Generation (chap. 2). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/IsItA georITFirst StepsTowardUnd/6058

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109 Rubin, A. M., & Rubin, R. C. (1985). Interface of personal and mediated communication: A research agenda. Critical Studies in Mass Communication 2(1), 36 53. Schumacher, P., & Morahan Martin, J. (2001). Gender, Internet a nd computer attitudes and experiences. Computers in Human Behavior 17:95 110. Shashaani, L., & Khalili, A. (2001). Gender and computers: similarities and differences Computers & Education 37:363 375. Sherman, R.C., End, C., Kraan, E., et al. (2000). The Internet gender gap among college students: forgotten but not gone? CyberPsychology & Behavior 3: 885 894. Shirky, C (March 13, 2009) Newspapers and thinking the unthinkable. Clay Shirky. Retrieved fro m http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/03/newspapers and thinking the unthinkable/ Sieverding, M., & Koch, S. (2009, April). (Self )Evaluation of computer competence: How gender matters. Computers & Education 52 (3), 696 701 Smith, Aaron. The Internet as a Di version. Pew Internet & American Life Project, September 2009, http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2009/PIP The Internet as a Diversion.pdf, accessed Feb. 9, 2010. Smith, M. (2000, September). Across the Page and Down the Dial: Media Usage and Evaluations of the Christian Coalition. Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press) 81 (3), 855 867. Smith, Tom. Power to the People Social Media Tracker Wave 3 [PDF document]. Retrieved from Universal McCann Web site: http://www.universalmccann. com/Assets/wave_3_2008 0403093750.pdf Song, I., Larose, R., Eastin, M., & Lin, C. (2004, August). Internet Gratifications and Internet Addiction: On the Uses and Abuses of New Media. CyberPsychology & Behavior 7 (4), 384 394. Stafford, T. (2003, November). Differentiating Between Adopter Categories in the Uses and Gratifications for Internet Services. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 50 (4), 427 435. Stempel III, G., & Hargrove, T. (1996, September). Mass media audiences in a changing media envir onment. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 73 (3), 549 558. Stempel III, G., & Hargrove, T. (2000, Spring2000). Relation of growth of use of the Internet to changes in media use from 1995 to 1999. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 77 (1), 71 79.

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110 Strauss, W., & Howe, N. (2000) Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation. New York: Vintage Books. Tai, Z., & Sun, T. (2007, December). Media dependencies in a changing media environment: the case of the 2003 SARS epidemic in China. New Media & So ciety 9 (6), 987 1009. Taylor, P. & Keeter, S. Millennials: A portrait of generation next. Pew Research Center, February 2010, http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/pdf/millennials confident connected open to change.pdf, accessed on March 8, 2010. Thorson, E. (2008). Changing patterns of news consumption and participation. Information, Communication & Society 11 (4), 473 489. doi:10.1080/13691180801999027. Todman, J. (2000). Gender differences in computer anxiety among university entrants since 1992. Computers and Education 34:27 35. Tsai, C., Lin, S.S.J., & Tsai, M. (2001). Developing an Internet attitude scale for high school students. Computers and Education 37:41 51. Westlund, O. (2008, September). From Mobile Phone to Mobile Device: News Consumption on the Go. Canadian Journal of Communication 33 (3), 443 463.

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111 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Paige Renee Madsen was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She earned the Bachelor of Science degree in j ournalism from the University of Florida in 2004 and her Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Florida in 2010. She was a lecture assistant for Dr. Julie E. Dodd for four semesters a lab instructor for Writing for Mass Communication at the University of Florida for six semesters and the course lecturer f or one semester