A number of people at the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project worked on this report: Director Amy Mitchell and Associate Director Mark Jurkowitz wrote the report. Senior Writer/Editor Jodi Enda, Senior Researcher Paul Hitlin, Research Associate Kenneth Olmstead analyzed the data. Jessica Schillinger designed the graphics and Dana Page handles communications for the project.

This analysis is based on Nielsen Co. data for adults 18 years and over during February 2013 (02/01/2013 – 02/28/2013).

Television news audience data is based on Nielsen’s NPOWER software within the National People Meter (NPM) Sample. The National People Meter (NPM) sample is based on approximately 20,000 homes and 50,000 persons while the Cross Platform sample is a subset of the NPM sample which provides data on both television and internet usage and is based on approximately 10,000 homes and 25,000 persons.  Homes are selected to be in the panel based on area probability sampling which is census-based to ensure no homes are excluded.  Homes are then randomly designated for recruitment based on this process, and metering equipment is installed upon acceptance.  Homes can be in the panel for up to 2 years, and incentives are provided for participation and cooperation.  The National People Meter electronically measures what is being tuned through codes and signatures as well as who is tuning by designating a button which relates to each individual household member.  The data is then compiled across households with useable data and weighted to ensure it is representative of all persons in U.S TV Households

Broadcast/network news includes all broadcast networks within the news genre—ABC, Azteca, CBS, ESTRELLA, FOX, MundoFox, NBC, PBS, Telemundo, and Univision. Local news includes the following networks and timeslots: Monday – Friday: 5-7AM for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and UNI; 4-6:30 PM for ABC, CBS, NBC; 10-11 PM for FOX; 11-11:30 PM for ABC, CBS, NBC, UNI. Cable news includes CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, HLN, CNBC, FBN within the news genre.

Online only as well as online and TV comparisons are based on analyses using Nielsen NPOWER software within Nielsen’s Cross Platform sample and metrics can vary slightly compared to data produced from the overall NPM sample.  Online news includes the subcategories Current Events & Global News and Multi-Category News & Information. Data comparing platform usage is based on those who met the minimum viewing qualifications for the analysis.