Pew Survey: The New News Is Elevator Music

05/02/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Here's the headline: "The notion that people have a primary news source, one place where they go for most of their news, in other words, is increasingly obsolete."

This from a Pew survey of how people get their news.

What the survey shows is that, even more than a radical shift from traditional media to online sources--although it shows this, too--what has happened is that news has become a constant, plugged-in condition. We get it from wherever our attention is directed, or from whatever data stream our technology connects us to.

Sometimes we choose this stream, say, with regard to our political desires, but mostly not. Mostly it's just happenstance or location or convenience--just whose news gets there first. News is background noise, barely conscious, subdural. It's ubiquitous. It's music.

This is surely not good for Rupert Murdoch, who wants to charge people for what, by its nature, is no longer a choice, no longer sought, no longer considered, no longer in any sense special, or exclusive, or unique.

Nor, perhaps, is it all the good for me--and Newser. Everybody in the news business is a utility--but without a monopoly.

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