Spanish-Speaking Hispanics Are ‘Avid’ Newspaper Readers, Study Finds

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Hispanics whose first language is Spanish are among America’s most avid newspaper readers, according to a new study of how ethnic groups use old and new media.

The study by the Florida State University Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication contains more good news for newspapers, finding that the time spent reading print is not going down among whites, African Americans, Asian Americans, and English-speaking Hispanics despite their heavy use of the Internet and television.

“The Multicultural Marketing Equation” surveyed 2,500 adults Internet users, with respondents interviewed in nearly equal numbers among non-Hispanic whites, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics who mostly speak and read in Spanish and those who speak and read in English.

“Generally, there is no difference in newspaper readership among most groups with the exception of HS (Spanish-speaking Hispanics), who read less in English,” the study said. “When looking at the combined picture, A (Asians), HE (English-speaking Hispanics), and HS are the most avid readers of newspapers… The fact that HS are highly print oriented is surprising because many new immigrants tend to be less literate than those educated in the United States. What this speaks of is the potential complementarity between newspapers and Internet content particularly for HS and A. In other words, since HS and A are both online each of these types of media can stimulate interest in the other.”

The study also found that Spanish-speaking Hispanics are the most avid magazine readers.

“As in the case of newspapers, this trend supports the notion of media complementarity with the Internet,” the study says. “In addition, it dissipates the stereotype that Hispanics are not as devoted readers as others in our society. Clearly, this has to be qualified by the fact that these are all online individuals. Further, the substantive amount of time that these groups say they devote to different media seems to dispel the notion that these consumers are replacing their traditional media exposure with the Internet.”

All five groups are “firmly entrenched” with old media such as newspapers and, especially, television, while leaving much time for Internet use, the study found.

“Marketers should realize that both old and new media avenues create not only access to these consumers, but complement each other to reinforce a strong communication link,” the study concludes.

The full study is available here

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