Pew: Online advertising passing by news organizations

Project for Excellence in Journalism

News organizations are doing a crummy job of capitalizing on online advertising's growth. The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism studied the websites of 11 newspapers, several TV networks, and Yahoo and the Huffington Post, and found that "even the top news websites in the country have had little success getting advertisers from traditional platforms to move online."

Just three of the 22 outlets studied offered targeted advertising based on their readers' searches, pages viewed or other activity. "By contrast," Pew's summation of the report notes, "highly targeted advertising is already a key component of the business model of operations such as Google and Facebook."

Some other findings:

  • The largest category of online ads at news orgs? House ads.
  • Newsgathering organizations mostly took a pass on coupon ads, and those that did mostly featured their own sites.
  • Search ads weren't evident, but Google-provided text ads were on many sites.
  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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