Articles about "State of the Media"


‘State of News Media’ Signals that Insubstantial Newspapers Require Reinvestment as Revenue Returns

After seven years of co-authoring the newspaper chapter of the “State of the News Media” report, I have maxed out on death and dying as a frame of reference.  So I led the latest treatment of newspapers with this variation:
“Poynter Institute ethicist Kelly McBride was visiting former colleagues at the Spokane Spokesman-Review last summer, when the conversation slid into the “how-bad-is-it?” mode. It has gotten so bad, one journalist said, that the independent contractors who deliver the paper complain that the Monday edition doesn’t have enough throw-weight to get all the way up the porch.
 
“That’s our metaphor for the state of the industry early in 2010. Newspapers, contrary to what is frequently alleged, are not dying in droves.
 
“But far too many American papers are at risk of becoming insubstantial. They lack the heft to be thrown up the front porch or to satisfy those readers still willing to pay for a good print newspaper.
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‘State of News Media’ Documents Decline, Spots 6 Trends for Reinvention

The Project for Excellence in Journalism is out with its annual “State of the News Media” report, chronicling three of the four most important aspects of news today: what’s being lost, what’s currently replacing it and how audiences are faring in the meantime.

The study paints a picture of mainstream media beset by crumbling business models, journalism start-ups still stumbling in their efforts to generate significant original content, and audiences left to bumble along as best they can, trying to make sense of a confusing media landscape.

All true and worthy of the invaluable benchmarking the industry has come to rely on PEJ to provide.

The report, seventh in PEJ’s series of annual check-ups on the world of news, sheds less light on journalism’s critically important — but tougher to quantify — fourth dimension: the chaotic reinvention of the forms of news that might come next.

In its look at established media, the study found 5,900 newspaper jobs lost in 2009 (in addition to a similar number in 2008), reducing newsroom employment at newspapers since 2001 by a third.
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State of the Media 2009 Signals Need for Citizen Media

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The Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual State of the Media 2009 report released this week has a clear message: most existing news media are in trouble. But in the special sections, and fine print, there are suggestions that could end up leading to less risk for news organizations that must move forward. It is time to look for other models — models that involve citizen media.

Take a risk and look into something like Newsgarden. This platform can be dropped into an existing Web site, and it adds a customizable Google map that displays the locations of your news stories in an inset on your site.

Readers can add stories, places on the map, photos and other content. The big breakthrough is the “…self-service ad placement system.” If local business people can use a browser, they can create a geo-tagged ad for themselves [and] choose among options for reach and cost in a way that “is cost-effective, highly efficient and scalable.” This is important, given that the report found Google and other aggregators are attracting more local advertising than news organization Web sites. Read more

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Shirky, State of the Media Make the Case for Risk

Avoiding risk is a risk we can no longer afford.

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If you find yourself debating a new approach to news, consider the similar conclusions of two very different reports.

In a post to his blog on Friday night, NYU professor and Internet thinker Clay Shirky argues that the best hope for journalism’s future lies in aggressive experimentation. Excerpts:

There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the Internet just broke…

That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given experiment isn’t apparent at the moment it appears… Experiments are only revealed in retrospect to be turning points…

When we shift our attention from ‘save newspapers’ to ‘save society,’ the imperative changes from ‘preserve the current institutions’ to ‘do whatever works.’ And what works today isn’t the same as what used to work…

No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the reporting we need…

Today, the Project for Excellence in Journalism releases the latest of its exhaustive annual analyses of the State of the News Media. Read more

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Cable Grows Audience, Advertising While Other Media Decline

The big media story of the decade is supposed to be the inexorable movement from print to digital, but there is a ringer attracting both audience and advertising as most news media suffer — cable television.
With a big boost from the presidential election, cable news had a banner year in 2008, growing advertising spending 27 percent in 2008, making online (up 4 percent) look like a 97-pound weakling by comparison. So says the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s sixth edition of its State of the News Media electronic yearbook published today.
As co-author of the newspaper chapter of the report, I’m on the leading edge of a litany of bad news familiar to most Biz Blog readers. But comparison to the fortunes of other media yields some surprises:
  • Local television audiences were down 4.5 percent for early evening news in 2008, almost exactly matching newspaper declines (4.6 percent daily and 4.8 percent Sunday) for the most recent reporting period.
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State of the Media 2008: Decoupling Blues

By Rick Edmonds
Media Business Analyst

Advertising takes center stage in the fifth edition of the State of the News Media report, released Monday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The heart of the problem, especially for newspapers, is not loss of audience but “a broken economic model — the decoupling of advertising and news,” the report finds. “Advertisers are not migrating to news Web sites with audiences, and online, news sites are already falling financially behind other kinds of Web destinations.”

A separate report on the future of advertising finds that Madison Avenue is as tradition-bound — or more so — as news outlets. Catching up might involve finding ingenious ways to advertise on news sites. But it might also accelerate the movement to freestanding advertising, friendly to search, that could dramatically reduce budgets for display advertising in traditional media.

The online report is massive — the equivalent of 700 pages of text. Read more

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State of the News Media 2007: Down in the Valley, with Lots of Company

Last spring, a young newspaper executive impressed me with a prophetic metaphor. The newspaper industry, she said, is entering a valley of economic hardship. And the hills on the other side are several years away.

In the 12 months since then, her analysis has proven to be true.

But a new report indicates that newspapers have plenty of company down there.

State of the News Media 2007, released today by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, reports that newspapers, cable television, network news and local television are all losing audience. This is interesting, but not particularly shocking, compared to the headline finding: Growth in certain sectors of online news is slowing.

According to a recent Pew Research Center report, the audience for online news is shrinking. Between June 2005 and June 2006, the percentage of people who said they go online for news every day dropped from 34 to 27 percent. Read more

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State of the News Media 2006: Skimpy Rations

How has your diet of news been lately? Do you find yourself eating several meals, grazing the rest of the day, but still going to bed hungry for high-fiber news content?


My colleagues at the Project for Excellence in Journalism, whose third edition of the State of the News Media electronic yearbook is released today, have an explanation. While we have an ever-expanding menu of media choices, all that media focuses, repetitively, on an ever smaller set of daily stories.  It amounts to a kind of pack journalism in which the herders, especially on national news are too often able “to control what the public knows.”


This year the project’s content analysis was across all media for a single news day, May 11, 2005.  It didn’t take long to identify an example of commodified reporting.  All three morning shows highlighted a story on a security scare in advance of President Bush’s trip to China.  All three interviewed the same lone person, a security expert from Citibank. Read more

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State of the Media 2005: New Roles for News

The encyclopedic State of the News Media, 2005, second in an annual series, hits the electronic street today. It has the facts you expect to find in a solid reference work but some facts that are surprising as well.


If you think you know your media, check out these findings:



  • Without denying the growth and transforming power of the Internet, it’s a myth that blogs and their cousins are locked in head-to-head combat with traditional media for audience.  To the contrary, most Americans are all-day grazers among multiple formats.

    So if your diet includes a newspaper, magazines, the Internet, radio and television (local, network, and cable), you are not a news junkie, you are normal. Only 2 percent of Americans report in a Pew survey that online sites are their only regular news source. TV-only claims 8 percent, print-only, 5 percent; and the very traditional combination of print and TV, 24 percent.

  • Nor are young people news dropouts.
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