When it Comes to Getting Political News, Utahns Prefer Television

Television NewsTelevision is still the go-to source for news about politics for most Utahns.

A new Dan Jones & Associates survey for UtahPolicy.com finds a little more than a third of Utahns (36%) say their primary source of political news is television. Online news sources that aren’t newspapers (UtahPolicy.com for instance) are the top source for political information of 20% of Utahns. Newspapers and radio are the choices for 10% of Utahns respectively, while newspaper websites get 9%.

So what about social media? It turns out it’s not much of a draw for political news in Utah. Only 6% said they turned to Facebook as their primary source for political information, while Twitter barely moved the needle.


Newspapers have been suffering financially since the dawn of the digital age, and younger Utahns don’t even come near the printed page for political news. 0% of Utahns between the age of 18-24 say they read a newspaper as their primary source for political stories while only 4% between 25 and 34 read newspapers.

As you might expect, those two age cohorts are very tuned into the digital world for their political news, while older Utahns are sticking with more traditional means for news.

  • 26% of 18-24-year-olds rely on online news sources as their top source for politics while 16% pick Facebook and 3% use on Twitter.
  • Online news sources and Facebook are the top picks for 23% of Utahns between 25 and 34. 17% in that group pick newspaper websites.
  • Online news sites are the top place for political news for Utahns between 35 and 44 as 31% pick that medium. 20% of this group say television while 16% pick newspaper websites.
  • Over a quarter (27%) of Utahns between 45 and 54 utilize online news sources for politics news while 24% say television is their primary source. 20% in this group pick radio.
  • Utahns between 55 and 64 say Television is their main medium for political news as 36% pick that method. 27% in this group use online news sources.
  • TV is the top pick for 55% of Utahns 65 years and older. 19% in this group pick newspapers while 8% say radio.

Republicans, Democrats and political independents all say TV is their primary place for political news.

  • 43% of Republicans pick TV. Online news sources were the second choice at 18%.
  • 37% of Democrats choose TV while 17% like newspaper websites and 14% use newspapers.
  • 29% of independents use TV to get political news while 26% turn to online news sources.

It’s surprising that Facebook and Twitter scored so poorly in our survey, given the importance given to those social networks during the just-completed presidential campaign. President-elect Donald Trump has touted his strength online as the primary reason he defied pollsters and ended up winning the White House last week. Meanwhile, Facebook and Google are grappling with how to deal with “fake news” spreading online.

The Dan Jones & Associates survey interviewed 818 adult Utahns from October 12-20, 2016 with a margin of error +/- 3.43%