Newspapers, Not So Much

Television is still the top source for news, with 70 percent (multiple responses were allowed), though the web is closing in on it as well. Among young people (ages 18-29), the Internet has pulled even with TV, with each drawing 59 percent. Just a year ago, twice as many young people cited the tube over the web (68 percent to 34).

5 comments:

Tomas

10:50 PM

Um, but the thing is, it ALL comes from newspapers.

Newspapers supply the bulk of the news that's seen on TV, especially on the local front. And those who say they get their news "on the Internet" are largely getting it from newspapers as well.

The word "newspapers" is just an idiom now. People may not be buying as many copies of the printed thing called "Detroit Free Press" or "New York Times," but they're still getting their information from the places called freep.com and nytimes.com, or via others who aggregate it from those sites.

If all the newspaper companies suddenly disappeared tomorrow, we'd be screwed.

Jake

11:03 PM

Thomas... thanks for commenting. Agree with your thought, but would add that the future probably holds a media mix where original and investigative reporting is done by the "newspaper" units of larger multimedia/channel conglomerates. Think News Corp, where the WSJ/NY Post provide original reporting for Fox News/Radio. In this model, the WSJ/NY Post will probably be folded in under the Fox brand, and their reporting may only appear as something like "Fox Business" or "Fox Political". (As an aside, that is why I have predicted that the NYT may well be purchased by Disney, whose ABC News unit lacks a "newspaper" type reporting unit.)

Terry Cowgill

1:14 PM

Young people are interested in news?

Tomas

2:48 PM

Jake, I suspect you're correct. That is the future.

Like I said, I think it's the semantics of the word "newspaper" that trips people up these days. But whatever we wind up calling it, that thing -- that activity that's currently performed by newspapers -- needs to survive. We need that hardcore information-gathering and identifying of stories. We need entities that are trusted by sources for spilling the dirt. Whatever these operations get called, whatever corporate structure they're folded into, we don't want it to disappear. I don't, at least.

Basically, we news junkies need to keep hoping that some genius finally figures out how to turn online content into money. Until then, the whole thing is still a house of cards waiting to fall.

Jake

5:57 PM

Tomas... Have no fear. Investigative and in depth "text" reporting will survive. As you have noted, too many other media distribution channels depend on it. However, the surviving model will have to be free of editorializing and political influence. With so much commentary available for free, hard reporting will have to be bias free to grab a large enough audience.