Pew on the State of the News Media 2013


This came across my desk through the climate change communications group at U C Boulder.. I think it’s interesting to share as it helps explain how we’re all a bit “on our own” when it comes to reporting of issues, and how reporters need our help, as experts, into the future. We also need really unbiased sources of information, which I hope this blog is, to some extent, both because of attempting to be fair and because we have both sides represented and available to critique. It’s somewhat scary for information other than what we can check for ourselves, though, I’ve gotta say.

Here’s the link and below is an excerpt:

In 2012, a continued erosion of news reporting resources converged with growing opportunities for those in politics, government agencies, companies and others to take their messages directly to the public.

Signs of the shrinking reporting power are documented throughout this year’s report. Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978. In local TV, our special content report reveals, sports, weather and traffic now account on average for 40% of the content produced on the newscasts studied while story lengths shrink. On CNN, the cable channel that has branded itself around deep reporting, produced story packages were cut nearly in half from 2007 to 2012. Across the three cable channels, coverage of live events during the day, which often require a crew and correspondent, fell 30% from 2007 to 2012 while interview segments, which tend to take fewer resources and can be scheduled in advance, were up 31%. Time magazine, the only major print news weekly left standing, cut roughly 5% of its staff in early 2013 as a part of broader company layoffs. And in African-American news media, the Chicago Defender has winnowed its editorial staff to just four while The Afro cut back the number of pages in its papers from 28-32 in 2008 to 16-20 in 2012. A growing list of media outlets, such as Forbes magazine, use technology by a company called Narrative Science to produce content by way of algorithm, no human reporting necessary. And some of the newer nonprofit entrants into the industry, such as the Chicago News Cooperative, have, after launching with much fanfare, shut their doors.

This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands. And findings from our new public opinion survey released in this report reveal that the public is taking notice. Nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to.

At the same time, newsmakers and others with information they want to put into the public arena have become more adept at using digital technology and social media to do so on their own, without any filter by the traditional media. They are also seeing more success in getting their message into the traditional media narrative…(more)

2 thoughts on “Pew on the State of the News Media 2013”

  1. Some of my best friends are journalists….everything from Alternative News Weeklies, local dailies, to some of the biggest newspapers in the country. Yes, the news media has become big business and newspapers especially are in big trouble, with newsroom staffs being cut left and right and many employees forced to take furloughs, early retirements or pay checks. Yet, for some strange reason, the executives of these news media corporates always seem to get fact checks and big bonuses.

    Anyway, worth pointing out someone one of my friends pointed out on another blog that was debating this “State of the News Media” report from Pew Research. The new president of Pew Research is Alan Murray, the former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, sister organization to Fox, and both owned by News Corp and Rupert Murdoch.

    Oh, and my wife’s grandpa was a type-setter at the Seattle PI back in the day.

  2. This is good news. It’s also a joke. They left out,”And 50% of the public deserted the news media because of liberal bias.” The internet was supposed to be a boon for libs…but instead it has freed information that can no longer be censored by the media. Note to lib journalist: “whenever I don’t get both sides of the story, I start wondering what the “the other side of the story is,” then I start wondering “why you’re not telling me the other side,” then I start distrusting the story “you’re” tellin me.”
    Do you ever notice how your local paper is shoving the Associated Press stories to the back of the newspaper behind the “food and leisure” section. The AP used to be on the front. Now it’s all about “local news.” The AP has gone so biased, why risk ticking off most of your readers…at least in Western states. I think the “local media” does a good job still. Wanna know how to spot “Biased” reporting? Look for the adjectives the reporter uses. If you can tell what the reporters opinion is…then it’s bias.

    Ah…WAlter Cronkite, whatever happened to the most trusted man in America. Just another once vaunted institution the “counter culture” ran into the ground to further their political agenda. Such squandered legacys.


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