This week, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released its annual State of the News Media report. Not surprisingly, the findings were dismal for some traditional news outlets. Local TV ratings across the country saw a steep decline, losing 6.6 percent of their audience over the previous year. Readership at local newspapers held steady, though circulation overall is still down more than 11 million readers over the past decade. For the first time since 1978 fewer than 40,000 full time reporters remain in newspaper newsrooms.
So where have all the readers, viewers and journalists gone? To digital media, according to Pew. In 2012 traffic to the top 25 online news sites increased 7.2 percent and 39 percent of the people in the survey received their news from a mobile device within the last day. In terms of journalists leaving newsrooms, one place they be finding jobs is the offices of PR firms. A recent analysis of census bureau data by Robert McChesney and John Nichols found that public relations pros outnumber journalists by a ratio of more than 3 to 1.
So what does this decline in traditional news delivery systems mean? Here are a few of my thoughts.
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts of the implications of the pivot in the news media industry. Is this just a natural disruption of a tired old industry? Is the decline in traditional reporting dangerous to democracy? What are the opportunities and pitfalls for companies trying to navigate the rapid change and get their messages heard?Tags: Content Marketing, John Nichols, Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journal, Robert McChesney, State of the News Media report, TV ratings