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Osama news: TV still dominates, but more than 1 in 8 young adults heard on a social network

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By the time we called Monday evening, a whopping 96 percent of Americans had heard the news about the U.S. military strike that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday.

Nearly seven in 10 — 68 percent —in the new poll by The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center said they’d already heard “a lot” about the raid and its outcome, with television still the leading source for breaking news.

Fully 58 percent of all Americans say they first heard about Osama’s death on TV, 15 percent by talking with someone either in person or on the phone, and 11 percent got the news online.

Among those ages 65 and up, television is the dominant source, with 74 percent saying they initially learned the news on television. That figure slides to 47 percent among adults under 35.

For younger adults, 21 percent say they heard the news about Osama’s death online, including 14 percent of all those ages 18 to 34 who learned about it on a social network such as Twitter or Facebook.

Sidenote: The Post’s Gene Weingarten offers his take on the lost art of being surprised by the news.

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