The Pew Research Center State of the News Media is an annual report on American journalism. From the Preface:
The State of the News Media 2013 is the tenth edition of our annual report on the status of American journalism. The study contains special reports on how news consumers view the financial struggles of the industry and how the local, cable and network TV news landscape has changed in recent years. It also includes analysis of the main sectors of the news media and an essay on digital developments.
-- Journalism, as in actual reporting, continues to decrease: "Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978. In local TV... sports, weather and traffic now account on average for 40% of the content produced on the newscasts studied while story lengths shrink. On CNN, the cable channel that has branded itself around deep reporting, produced story packages were cut nearly in half from 2007 to 2012."
-- The traditional media narrative and filter is being bypassed more and more frequently, especially in politics: "...only about a quarter of statements in the media about the character and records of the presidential candidates originated with journalists in the 2012 race, while twice that many came from political partisans. That is a reversal from a dozen years earlier when half the statements originated with journalists and a third came from partisans."
-- The number of PR people is increasing while the number of journalists is shrinking: "...the ratio of public relations workers to journalists grew from 1.2 to 1 in 1980 to 3.6 to 1 in 2008—and the gap has likely only widened since."
-- The effects of a decade of newsroom cutbacks are real – and the public is taking notice. Nearly a third of U.S. adults, 31%, have stopped turning to a news outlet because it no longer provided them with the news they were accustomed to getting.
-- The news industry continues to lose out on the bulk of new digital advertising. Two new areas of digital advertising that seemed to bring promise even a year ago now appear to be moving outside the reach of news: mobile devices and local digital advertising.
-- The long-dormant sponsorship ad category is seeing sharp growth. This is one area of growing digital ad revenue where news organizations have taken early steps to move in.
-- The growth of paid digital content experiments may have a significant impact on both news revenue and content. After years of an almost theological debate about whether digital content should be free, the newspaper industry may have reached a tipping point in 2012. Indeed, 450 of the nation’s 1,380 dailies have started or announced plans for some kind of paid content subscription or pay wall plan...
-- While the first and hardest-hit industry, newspapers, remains in the spotlight, local TV finds itself newly vulnerable. Local TV audiences were down across every key time slot and across all networks in 2012.
See the report here.