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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More