But is it always real news?
Back in the 1940's and 50's, most Americans got their news from daily newspapers. Most major cities and many smaller ones had more than one paper -- the morning paper with news from the previous day and early evening, and the afternoon or evening paper with news of that day.
Then along came TV, which quickly became the dominant news source for most of us. And it wasn't too long before network newscasts had to share their audience with cable news - first CNN and then several other 24-hour cable news channels. All-news radio stations in bigger markets also had - and continue to have - big audiences.
But the internet has changed the equation yet again. It's not just the more "legitimate" online news sources like the news sites of newspapers and TV stations, and other sites like Huffington Post. The somewhat startling news is that social media that has become the dominant source of news, at least for younger Americans.
A new study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism finds that 28 percent of Americans ages 18 - 24 cite social media as their primary source of news. Twenty-four percent of that same age demo say their primary source of news is TV. It's even higher among people who search for news on the smartphones -- 48%.
Facebook is the most popular social media site for young people to get their news, with 44% saying that's their top go-to place for news. YouTube comes in at 19%, Twitter at 10% and WhatsApp at 8%.
What troubles me about these numbers is how easy and commonplace it is for online readers to get misinformation that's disguised as news. It's not unusual to see Facebook and Twitter posts that refer to an article in a trusted major news source, but the facts get twisted, often intentionally. Just the other day, a friend told me about an article she saw in The Washington Post that had some troubling information about Trump's mental state. As much as I dislike Trump, the story just didn't sound right. I had my friend show me the article and it turned out to be a Facebook post that referred to the Post story. But there was no link and when I went directly to the Washington Post site, there was no such story. So someone along the way put out a false post, incorrectly citing a major news outlet as the source. And it got re-posted online countless times.
This happens a lot on social media, so if nearly a third of young people are relying on social media for news, I'd say we have a problem.