News portals linked to search engines like Google and Yahoo! are proving more popular as sources of online information than the websites of established news broadcasters like CNN, Fox or CBS, according to a new study.

In news that may be of interest to developers of online marketing services, the State of the Media report by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that 56 per cent of online news consumers use a portal that gathers together stories from a number of different sources, like Google News, on a daily basis.

Among 18 to 29-year-olds, this figure was 68 per cent.

By comparison, 46 per cent of overall users preferred the websites of TV news organisations, while 38 per cent visit sites focused on a particular news area, like health or entertainment.

According to Nielsen ratings included in the study, Yahoo! News was the top news website in 2009, with a unique audience of 40.8 million users.

The company said that the top seven per cent of these sites account for 80 per cent of overall traffic.

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