People graze across multiple websites for their news. Only 21% say they tend to rely primarily on one destination; only a third even say they have a favorite news website (35%) among those they use. But these online news grazers do not range far. Most (57%) usually rely on two to five websites.
And most of that grazing is still done through the big familiar sites. Among news sites that attract 500,000 monthly visitors or more, the top 10% attract half the traffic. When asked to name their favorite news site, survey respondents named sites of major news organizations such as CNN and Fox as well as aggregators like Google.
This study from the folks at Pew reinforces a study we did when I worked at Yahoo!. We found that people have so many sources of information at their disposal that they end up being overwhelmed and found it hard to find the information that was most relevant to them. We called it the "deprivation of too much".
These results seem to mirror what happens with TV channels. Despite the explosion in the number of cable channels over the last several years people still watch about the same number of channels as before. The difference is in what channels are in the rotation.
Like advertising, news is all about relevancy. As a consumer I want the news I'm most interested in without having to work too hard to get it. While the major news organizations do a good job of aggregating stories there is a good opportunity for bloggers to make a name for themselves by curating news and commentary from across the web for a specific topic.