Pew Report on the State of the News Media

Unfortunately, media consolidation and just general atrophy is eroding the sources for good news in the US.  According to this report:

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, our special content report reveals, 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. Across the three cable channels, coverage of live events during the day, which often require a crew and correspondent, fell 30% from 2007 to 2012 while interview segments, which tend to take fewer resources and can be scheduled in advance, were up 31%. Time magazine, the only major print news weekly left standing, cut roughly 5% of its staff in early 2013 as a part of broader company layoffs.

This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands. This has not gone unnoticed by the public since nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) to the Pew Survey have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed.

The report can be found here.

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21 thoughts on “Pew Report on the State of the News Media

  1. …deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed.

    Interesting statement that could mean two or three different things.

    1. I’ve run out of local news sources. Channel 13 has become a local version of Fox News. Can’t watch 11 news because Anderson is an a** and 24 news is just plain awful. And did you notice that Channel 11 in now doing the local Fox News?

      And I don’t know why I still subscribe to The Blade. The mistruths stated daily on the editorial page just make me cringe. Imagine how I felt when my mother remarked how much knowledge she was acquiring by reading the letters to the editor in The Blade.

      I read the Pew report earlier this morning. I get that Fox News leans to the (hard) right, but saying MSNBC leans just as much to the left is untrue. I do see segments that are definitely slanted, but I have yet to hear (repeatedly) outright lies. You can always rationalize your opinion, but you can never support a lie with facts.

      1. ” but saying MSNBC leans just as much to the left is untrue.”
        This is false NON. There was a great documentary I saw a few months back called Patriocracy. I saw it on netflix. Check into it and watch it. They do a great segment on how the media is agenda driven. The narrator goes over segments of the Sean Hannity show, and the Keith Oberman show. He points to the different speech patterns during story lines. MSNBC is very left leaning. Maybe you just don’t want to see it that way, but I do recommend that documentary.

        1. You must have missed the line “I do see segments that are definitely slanted, but I have yet to hear (repeatedly) outright lies.” And Sean Hannity is way past Keith Oberman when it comes to outright lies. When I first happened to watch Hannity, I thought it was a Comedy Central parody; when I learned it was for real I couldn’t believe ANY network would air that crap. If you want to go there, I’d be happy to but ….

          You would have to try really hard and be really lucky to name ONE Fox News show that doesn’t lie or slant the truth on a regular basis.

          And here’s an interesting link:
          http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/patriocracy/6083

          1. Yes I know and I have nothing against Oberman. I think the general theme is that these shows on Fox and MSNBC are more entertainment than they are hard hitting news. Plus Oberman was fired for breach of contract, not for the presentation of his views on current stories.

          1. Things a little slow this week UTF as this is my week with my Daughter. Expect something early this week, possibly tomorrow. Still doing research on my first post.

            FYI, M_R sent me the invite e-mail and mentioned that you had problems with the invite. What exactly were the problems? Setting up a word press account, or accepting the invite?

  2. Speaking of “news” sources, remember when the posse would cite The Daily Caller to substantiate their facts? Well it just goes to show you shouldn’t try to shortchange someone you’re paying to do something dishonest for you. They’ll always turn on you!

    “(CBS News) A Dominican prosecutor said Friday that a local attorney told him someone claiming to work for the conservative website The Daily Caller paid him to find prostitutes who would lie about having sex with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

    Jose Polanco told The Associated Press that attorney Melanio Figueroa said he was promised $5,000 by someone named “Carlos” to find prostitutes. Polanco said Figueroa told him in an interrogation late Thursday that he was only paid $2,000 after finding the prostitutes.” WND Politics

    BACKGROUND: On Nov. 1, The Daily Caller reported the claims of two women from the Dominican Republic on video that Menendez had paid them for sex. But the unsubstantiated allegations against Menendez had initially been pushed more than six months earlier, beginning with an anonymous tipster contacting the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and later operatives approaching several news organizations. Menendez said Tuesday (March 5th) “All I know is obviously there must be interests [who] were trying to defeat me in my election and who obviously did not want to see me in my role as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

  3. Great post Laci. I have often wondered if there was ever any non agenda cable news outlets prior to the proliferation of the internet. Nowadays, if it isn’t local news I’m watching, C-Span is what I like to watch.

    I don’t mind the Huff Post, or Daily Caller as NON mentioned above. The only thing with reading these online publications is that you need to know that there is an agenda there. That is where factcheck.org and scopes comes in handy.

    1. http://www.snopes.com/ is for Urban Legends, not lying news sources. http://www.factcheck.org/ should not be confused with http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker, the latter being the reliable facts checker of the Washington Post. The former (fringe group) depends on the confusion of names.

      If anyone is bored today, let’s play who can name the most outrageous lie by The Daily Caller. This is one of my favorites: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/17/joe-wilson-says-you-lie-has-been-justified/

        1. Jesus! How did I forget that one. OK, you win. Didn’t Fox News also join in on that one?

            1. RE: Andrew Breitbart and Tucker Carlson

              One’s dead and the other not, but both still have websites. What is your take on the difference between them? I ask because the “author” (Boyle)of the fake prostitute story has jumped from The Daily Caller to Breitbart. And Boyle’s latest contribution is the publication of the location of the President’s children while they take a Spring break vacation.

              I’d say that Breitbart is more of a propaganda machine for the fringe section of the Republican Party, while The Daily Caller just makes up stuff that those looking for crap; and those readers readily believe and repeat said crap.

            2. WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

              Fox’s Gretchen Carlson Continues Right-Wing Media’s Disregard Of Economic Reality – “[I] think that there has been an increase in jobs in the government over the last four years during the recession when unemployment was at a high level. I think the jobs that were actually increasing were government jobs.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/26/13]

              (An outright, obvious and easily disprovable lie!)

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