Saturday, March 19, 2011

What Happened to the Newspaper?

We get the paper on the weekends in my house.

Actually my wife gets it.

In our city the paper makes you buy a weekend subscription which includes Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

My wife takes a couple of sections out of the Sunday paper, the rest goes straight to the recycling bin.

Here's why:

Online News Surpasses Newspapers

The inevitable shift finally came in 2010, as more Americans got their daily news from online sources other than print, according to the Biannual News Consumption Survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The findings were released this week as part of Pew's annual overview of the news media.

Specifically, Pew found that the proportion of U.S. adults who said they got their news online the day before increased from 29% in 2008 to 34% in 2010. The proportion that cited print newspapers as the source of their recent news fell from 34% in 2008 to 31% in 2010.

The Internet came out ahead of print in terms of time spent with news sources, with an average 13 minutes per day, according to Pew. That stat beats print newspapers at 10 minutes, but trails TV at 19 minutes and radio at 15 minutes.

This good news for broadcast and cable TV was tempered somewhat by a more pronounced shift in news consumption habits among younger adults. Pew found that the Internet is now the No. 1 news source for the 18-29 cohort, with 65% saying they get most of their news online, compared to 52% for TV and just 21% for newspapers.

By contrast, TV still dominated in the 30-49 cohort, with 63% citing TV news as their top news source compared to 48% for the Internet.

It's worth noting that online news consumption is still dominated by traditional news sources -- including Web sites maintained by newspapers, which many publishers see as the key to future success.

Conversely, Pew noted that online advertising has not proved nearly as lucrative as print for newspaper publishers, raising questions about their ability to maintain both profitability and large news-gathering organizations.

Pew also noted the rise of online-only news operations, such as The Huffington Post, which now hold seven of the top 25 spots for online news consumption. However, five of these seven generate most of their traffic by aggregating traditional media.

(Source: Media Daily News, 03/15/11)

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