Inernet as news 'source'?
This lede from the Pew Research Center:
The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news.Hmmm, Internet as news "source"?
It seems to me there's a fundamental terminology problem here.
While newspapers are, yes, a "medium," generally a newspaper (for reasons largely having to do with the cost of presses, ink, paper and distribution) is merely the outward embodiment of a news organization -- the actual "source." Likewise "television." So we can comingle the terminology without doing too much damage to clarity (though we still seriously dent accuracy).
But the Internet is the outward embodiment of .... what? Well, news organizations, yes. But also aggregation sites, bloggers, pr agencies, ad agencies, corporations -- technically, anyone with a computer. To call the Internet a "source" really does start to mangle the term.
In this context, newspaper, television and online are all methods of distribution - media. But perhaps it's time to re-examine our looseness with the language when it comes to online. If Pew is going to talk about sources, it needs to start breaking out what those specific sources are online, at least by type.
I'm not suggesting this as any sop to newspapers or broadcasters. I am suggesting we no longer really can be this sloppy with the terminology.