News / USA

Study: Media Budget Woes Changing How Americans Get News

US viewership of local news
US viewership of local news
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid