New Pew study looks at ‘participatory news consumer’

1 03 2010

A study released today by Pew Internet examines “how internet and cell phone users have turned news into a social experience.”

Interestingly, while another report from Pew three months ago found that newspapers still drove the local news “ecosystem” in one city (Baltimore)  it studied intensely, today’s report concludes:

The internet has surpassed newspapers and radio in popularity as a news platform on a typical day and now ranks just behind TV.

Among the other major points of the study:

  • The average online consumer regularly turns to only a few websites.
  • Internet users use the web for a range of news, but local is not near the top of the
    list.
  • News is pocket-sized. Some 80% of American adults have cell phones today, and 37% of them go online from their phones.
  • News is personalized: The “Daily Me” takes shape.
  • News is easier to follow now, but overwhelming. And most topics get plenty of coverage, in Americans’ eyes. [The topic on which Americans most want more coverage: Scientific news and discoveries.]




Pew study: Traditional media still rules

12 01 2010

I find this unsurprising, and not good news for the old media. They may still rule, but the kingdom of news lies in tatters.

” … A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, which takes a close look at the news ecosystem of one city, suggests that while the news landscape has rapidly expanded, most of what the public learns is still overwhelmingly driven by traditional media—particularly newspapers.

“The study, which examined all the outlets that produced local news in Baltimore, Md., for one week, surveyed their output and then did a closer examination of six major narratives during the week, finds that much of the “news” people receive contains no original reporting. Fully eight out of ten stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information.

And of the stories that did contain new information nearly all, 95%, came from traditional media—most of them newspapers. These stories then tended to set the narrative agenda for most other media outlets.”

So what we define as news still comes largely from the same old outlets. Those outlets’ resources are vastly depleted. Hence, we learn far less than we once did.

News consumers starve but lose interest in this paltry gruel. They grow lethargic. So far, they have few sources for a more nutritious diet to energize them. Will a new supply come forward before the population dies off?