The report indicates that, at August 2007, 72 percent of Australians used the internet (increasing to 86% when considering those in full employment), and highlights known divides in usage based on income and residential location, it also provides an interesting view on which media are most important to Australians.
The study found that 68.5 percent of users regarded the internet as an 'important' or 'very important' source of information.
In comparison only 32.6 percent gave the same indication for television, 46.6 percent for newspapers and 45.9 percent for radio.
From the report,
The difference is even more marked when we look just at the ‘very important’ rating. The proportion of users rating the internet as ‘very important’ (36.6%) is more than double that for radio (14.5%), newspapers (13.8%) and more than four times the figure for television (8.5%).
41.3 percent of users thought that most information provided by newspapers was accurate, compared to 38.6 percent for online information and only 29.5 percent for television.
The report also provides some interesting patterns as to how people use the internet to source information - with it being a key channel when stories where breaking, raising the need for organisations to ensure that their websites are updated quickly and regularly during news events.
Finally the report indicated that over 30 percent of internet users believe that the internet can give citizens more say about what government does - however largely citizens were skeptical that public officials cared about what people said online, which showed some disillusionment at how effectively government has used the internet to consult citizens thus far.