Q. Does anybody click on all those ads I see on the news and other sites I look at online?

Our recent survey, conducted together with the Project for Excellence in Journalism for their State of the News Media 2010 report, suggests that news consumers are not particularly eager or willing to click on ads. Our study finds that the great majority — 79% — of online news consumers say they have never or only rarely clicked on an online ad.

A section of the online chapter that talks about the rise of social media as a force in disseminating news and as a set of tools that allow people to participate in news is relevant in this regard. One implication of this is that media buyers and planners would be wise to consider social networking as a major pathway for people to learn about, discuss, and engage with news.

Lee Rainie, Director, Internet & American Life Project