By Noel Brinkerhoff & Danny Biederman
March 22, 2013
News organizations have lost a significant share of their audience due to budget cuts that have impacted the quality and quantity of reporting.
A new poll from the Pew Research Center found that 31% of respondents said they had stopped using a particular news outlet because it was no longer providing the same kind of news and information as in the past.
Pew researchers said that those most likely to stop using news sources were better educated, wealthier and older than those who still used them—“in other words, they are people who tend to be most prone to consume and pay for news,” Pew’s The State of the News Media 2013 read.
Losses of subscribers and ad revenues have negatively impacted many news organizations in recent years, forcing layoffs and reduced coverage. Most of the people to whom Pew researchers talked were either largely or entirely unaware of this situation, the survey revealed.
There is, however, a glimmer of hope for the embattled newspaper industry, which has been under financial duress since the onset of the recession in 2007 and growing competition from online news services. The Pew study reports that a trend of stabilizing revenue is evidenced by news organizations’ use of social media to support advertisers, digital pay plans, increased investor interest, and across-the-board advertising growth attributed to a modestly improving economy.
The Pew authors concede, however, that these positive signs “are, for the time being, mostly promise rather than performance,” and that the overall prognosis still appears grim.
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