News / USA

Study: Media Budget Woes Changing How Americans Get News

US viewership of local news
US viewership of local news
VOA News
A new study says budget woes that have forced newsrooms across the United States to lay off reporters and spend less on their coverage are sending viewers and readers to emerging online forms of learning about the day's news.

The non-partisan Pew Research Center issued its yearly report on the U.S. news industry Monday, saying nearly a third of people it surveyed stopped going to a particular news source because it no longer offered the information it once did.

The report cites the tangible effects of the cutbacks, with fewer reporters to look deeply into stories, and television news programs showing fewer stories that are shorter in length.  It says cable channels, such as CNN, are airing more interviews and less of the day-to-day live news that once played a much larger role in their coverage.

On the local level, young people are fleeing television news broadcasts, with viewership among those under age 30 dropping from 42 percent in 2006 to 28 percent last year.

At the same time, data compiled by the American Journalism Review shows news organizations closing foreign bureaus and slashing the number of reporters covering major government institutions like the State Department and Defense Department.

The Pew study says a bulk of Americans are not aware of the reason for the cutbacks.  The center's survey shows 60 percent have heard little or nothing about the financial pressures media companies are facing.

As fewer Americans read print newspapers or watch television news, there has been a surge in news consumption online.  Pew says the percentage of people who got "yesterday's news" from an online source was up 7 percent last year.  The good news for outlets that have long-dominated the older forms of media, like NBC, CBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post, is that many of their websites rank among the top in online news traffic.

The bad news for those companies is that they are not attracting huge sums of digital advertising revenue.  Instead, newspapers are increasingly turning to forcing consumers to pay for access to their websites.  Monday's report says 450 of the 1,380 daily newspapers in the United States have announced plans to, or have already, instituted a so-called pay wall.

Two of the three largest newspapers in the country - The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal - have pay walls.  The New York Times implemented its system in 2011, and now says it makes more money from subscription fees than it does through charging for ads.

Another emerging trend is in the way people first hear about a news story.  Pew says 15 percent of U.S. adults learn about it from someone on a social networking site, and that for young people, the number rises to nearly one-in-four.

The reach of social media and other forms of engagement outside of traditional media outlets has given companies and individuals the ability to get their message directly to the public, when before they would have had to rely on news coverage.  As Pew notes in the study, that means the information is not presented with the filter of independent vetting, context or comparison with other sources.

Part of the study focusing on coverage of the 2012 U.S. elections showed that even when journalists do cover a story, that filtering role has been diminished.  It says about a quarter of the statements in the media about the character or record of President Barack Obama or his challenger, Mitt Romney, came from journalists.  More than half of the statements came instead from the candidates themselves, their campaigns or their political allies, and were used to attack the opposing candidate.

Pew says that is a reversal from the race in 2000, when half of the statements about candidates came from journalists.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs