By several measures, the state of the American news media improved in 2010.
After two dreadful years, most sectors of the industry saw revenue begin to recover. With some notable exceptions, cutbacks in newsrooms eased. And while still more talk than action, some experiments with new revenue models began to show signs of blossoming.
There’s a dramatic revolution taking place in the news business today and it isn’t about TV anchor changes, scandals at storied newspapers or embedded reporters. The future course of the news, including the basic assumptions about how we consume news and information and make decisions in a democratic society are being altered by technology-savvy young people no longer wedded to traditional news outlets or even accessing news in traditional ways.
This year’s report is the most interactive it’s ever been, and contains a number of new features. A Year in the News Interactive, for instance, allows users to explore for themselves our content database of some 68,000 stories from 55 different news outlets. Users can look at what they want, answer their own questions and create their own charts. Who Owns the News Media is a new multi-dimensional directory of the more than 120 companies that own news properties in the United States that allows users to explore and compare companies by sector, revenue, and audience. This year’s study also includes a new survey of the economic attitudes of online news consumers. The report also contains a detailed analysis of the online behavior of visitors to news websites and a study of the most highly regarded community journalism websites in the country. There is also, for the first time, a content analysis of blogs and social media, and explores the extent to which their news agenda relates to, differs from, and draws on traditional media. Coming in April is a survey of news executives on the future of their industry.
Listen to the audio stream for this one.
Health care dominated the media recently, and this past week was no exception: a survey by the Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that health care coverage accounted for a staggering 37 percent of the newshole. But despite all the coverage, more than half of Americans polled say they still don’t understand how reform will effect them. The Pew Center’s Mark Jurkowitz talks about how a topic that’s been so widely covered can still be so little understood.
The State of the News Media 2010 is the seventh edition of our annual report on the health and status of American journalism.
Our goals are to take stock of the revolution occurring in how Americans get information and provide a resource for citizens, journalists and researchers to make their own assessments. To do so we gather in one place as much data as possible about all the major sectors of journalism, identify trends across media, mark key findings, delve deep into each sector and note areas for further inquiry.