Media as an Information Source
• More small employers (26%) consider the Internet their most important source for business
news and information than any other media source. Another 21 percent think that
newspapers are their most important business information source. These two sources are
followed by television (18%), magazines and newsletters (13%), and radio (12%).
• Twenty-seven (27) percent of small-business owners identify television as their most
important source for news and information on current events and public affairs. Nearly
the same proportion favors the Internet (25%) and newspapers (24%). Fourteen (14)
percent rely on radio as their most important information source for current events and
public affairs and another 4 percent rely on magazines and newsletters.
• Small employers think their favorite media information source is more important than networking
as a source for both business and public affairs information. However, the difference
is marginal for business information while substantial for public affairs information.
• Small-business owners typically use multiple sources of media information to satisfy their
information needs and frequently report each as very important or important sources.
Just 5 percent say they never listen to the radio; 2 percent never watch television; 7 percent
never read magazines or newsletters; 11 percent never read the newspaper; and, 15
percent never use the Internet as a source of information.
• Sixty-eight (68) percent of the 83 percent of small employers who can be classified as
regular listeners tune in to the radio principally in their car or truck. Their favorite radio
format is split almost evenly between music and news/talk (information). However, they
typically listen to music in their place of business when the radio is on.
• Eighty-seven (87) percent of small-business people can be classified as regular television
viewers. Overwhelmingly, the type of information program they most frequently watch is
local news. National network news is a distant second.
• Small employers do not read general business or news magazines frequently. They are far
more likely to read industry-specific and locally-oriented publications than general or
national publications. Magazines and newsletters are considered a substantially more valuable
source for business information than for news and current events.
• Seventy-two (72) percent of small employers read newspapers regularly. The most frequently
read newspapers are non-national dailies, followed by weeklies or bi-weeklies and
national dailies. The local news (26%) is the most popular section in their favorite newspaper.
The business section ranks third (16%) behind national and international news (18%).
• Almost half (46%) of all small-business people check the Internet regularly for news on
current events and public affairs. Likewise, they often search the Internet for goods and
services to purchase and for marketing and contract leads. Still, one-third (34%) rarely or
never use the Internet as a source for news and/or information.