Pew examines news industries in latest State of News Media report

BY Colleen Shalby  March 26, 2014 at 1:49 PM EST
Photo by Flickr user Rachel Docherty

Photo by Flickr user Rachel Docherty

In the past year, did you tune in to your local news channel to learn about the latest developments regarding the NSA? Have you kept up with the search for the Boston bombers on Twitter, read about the Syrian crisis in the newspaper or listened for the name of the new Pope on your car radio?

However you get your news, it’s safe to say that the media landscape has and will continue to change. Pew Research Center’s 11th State of the News Media report, released Wednesday, looks at these changes and examines consumer, ownership, investment and technology trends of the various news industries over the past year.

One of Pew’s findings showed that nearly 300 local television stations changed hands in 2013, and viewership grew for the first time in five years.

“Whether that’s an anomaly or not is something we’ll watch,” said Amy Mitchell, Director of Journalism Research for Pew.

In regards to social media’s affect on news organizations, Pew found that while 30 percent of Facebook users get their news through Facebook, those that do stumble upon a news story in their newsfeed have a lower engagement rate than those who go directly to a site.
Pew state of media

Other takeaways include:

  • Online video: “A third of U.S. adults are watching online news videos,” said Mitchell. Ad revenue for online video grew 44 percent from 2012-2013, and is expected to increase as digital storytelling evolves.
  • Cable networks: Cable news audience declined “by nearly all measures.”
  • Employment: Thirty of the biggest digital-only news organizations, including Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Vice Media, account for 3,000 jobs.
  • Audio: Traditional radio continues to reach the majority of Americans ages 12 and older, and online listening has grown 29 percent from 2012 to 2013.
  • Newspapers: Of the 5,000 professional jobs at 500 digital news outlets, the majority of original reporting comes from the newspaper industry — but newspaper jobs aren’t secure.