The language of news media consumption is changing for Hispanics: a growing share of Latino adults are consuming news in English from television, print, radio and internet outlets, and a declining share are doing so in Spanish, according to survey findings from the Pew Research Center.
In 2012, 82% of Hispanic adults said they got at least some of their news in English, up from 78% who said the same in 2006. By contrast, the share who get at least some of their news in Spanish has declined, to 68% in 2012 from 78% in 2006.
Half (50%) of Latino adults say they get their news in both languages, down from 57% in 2010.
The rise in use of English news sources has been driven by an increase in the share of Hispanics who say they get their news exclusively in English. One-third (32%) of Hispanic adults in 2012 did this, up from 22% in 2006. By contrast, the share of Hispanic adults who get their news exclusively in Spanish has decreased to 18% in 2012 from 22% in 2006.
These changes in news consumption patterns reflect several ongoing demographic trends within the Hispanic community: a growing share of Latino adults who speak English well; slowing migration to the United States; Latino immigrants living in the U.S. for longer periods of time; and the growth of Latinos born in the U.S.
Even though the share of Hispanic adults who consume news media in Spanish has declined, the number of potential Spanish news media consumers is growing as a result of the rapid overall rise in the number of Hispanics in the U.S.—- to 52 million in 2011, up from 35 million in 2000. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, a record 35 million Hispanics ages 5 and older speak Spanish (at home), up from 25 million in 2000 and 10 million in 1980. At the same time, a record 31 million Hispanics ages 5 and older are proficient in English, up from 19 million in 2000 and 8 million in 1980.
Among the report’s other findings:
Following the News: About eight-in-ten Hispanic adults say they keep up with the news “a lot” (45%) or “some” (36%) and about two-in-ten keep up “not much” (15%) or “not at all” (4%).
Television Most Popular; Internet on the Rise: Fully 86% of Latino adults say that on a typical weekday they get their news from television. That is down slightly from 92% who said the same in 2006, but is higher than the share of Latinos who get their news from radio (56%), the internet (56%) or print newspapers (42%). Use of internet news media has grown among Latino adults since 2006 while radio news media and print newspapers have seen the biggest declines.
Number of Platforms Used: Latino adults on average use 2.4 news media platforms among the four tested—- television, print newspapers, radio and the internet—- when they consume news media. Overall, 3% of Latino adults do not use any of the four news media platforms tested, 17% use one, 32% use two, 33% use three and 15% use all four platforms.
Accuracy: When asked if news organizations get their facts straight or are often inaccurate, 60% of all Hispanics say Spanish-language news organizations “get the facts straight” and 59% say the same of English-language news organizations.
Best at Covering News Relevant to Hispanics: Seven-in-ten Hispanic adults say the Spanish-language news media do an “excellent” (24%) or “good” job (46%) covering news specifically relevant to Hispanics in the U.S. By contrast, about six-in-ten Hispanic adults say the English-language news media do an “excellent” (17%) or “good” job (42%) covering news relevant to Hispanics in the U.S.
This report is largely based on a nationally representative bilingual telephone survey of 1,765 Latino adults conducted from September 7 to October 4, 2012.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan source of data and analysis. It does not take advocacy positions. Its Hispanic Center, founded in 2001, seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the nation.