State of the News Media

Posted on March 26, 2011

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The 8th State of the News Media report, which was released by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism earlier this month, reaffirmed what many of us were already thinking—41% of Americans surveyed said they go to the internet for their national/international news. This marks a 17% increase from last year.

One other statistic that stuck out to me was that 47% of Americans get some sort of local news on mobile or wireless devices.

As people head online to get their news fix, advertising revenue is following. This article, citing data from eMarketer, has online advertising at $25.8 billion dollars in 2010, with newspaper advertising revenue at $22.8 billion—a 46% drop from four years ago.

These findings are true in the context of my personal news consumption; the only time I don’t get my news online or through the New York Times application on my phone is  on the rare occasion that when I am in front of a TV to watch Brian Williams at 6:30.

After really thinking about the past few weeks though, I realized I often end up watching the Nightly News online, either in its entirety or in clips.So really, all of my information comes in some way through the internet.

It’s not that I don’t like the feeling of an actual newspaper in my hands; it’s just a matter of convenience. I can read the NYT headlines while I’m literally running to class. At 6:30 at night I’m usually either in class or doing homework. When I check my Facebook, clips from the Nightly News Facebook page usually pop up in my news feed, so I can click whichever ones interest me.

I don’t think the findings in this year’s “State of the News Media” are dismal. They just indicate that as habits of news consumers change, the media industry needs to also change the way news is presented.  It’s not that people aren’t interested in the news, they are just choosing a different platform by which to be informed.

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