If you care about news, then the Pew Research Center’s latest annual State Of The News Media report will make you want to cry. Providers across all platforms became “more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into [their] hands,” Pew’s Project for Excellence In Journalism finds. The shortcomings stood out during the election when “campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.”
Even in a year with an exciting presidential election the collective audience for ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening newscasts fell 2% to 22.1M “resuming the downward trajectory of nearly three decades” after an uptick in 2011. Total audience for local TV newscasts — the nation’s #1 news source – shrank last year in all key time slots except for early morning and across stations aligned with all the networks, resuming a downward trend that seemed to have ended in 2011. Viewing of the evening newscasts that aired between 5:00 and 7:00 PM at the major network affiliates fell 7% last year. One reason: young people are tuning out. About 28% of adults under 30 regularly watched local news last year, down from 42% in 2006. Local news devoted 40% of air time to sports, weather, and traffic, up from 32% in 2005. And just 20% of the stories last year ran at least a minute, down from 31% a decade ago. READ MORE »
Last year’s tsunami in Japan, the elections in Russia, and turmoil in the Middle East were the most popular topics for news watchers on YouTube in the 15 months that ended in March, according to a new … Read More »
Just 21% of adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in TV news, down from 27% last year — and the lowest percentage since Gallup started taking the poll in 1993 — … Read More »
Media organizations received mixed grades this morning from the disturbing yet fascinating Civility in America annual survey measuring opinions about how people and institutions deal with each other. The third report on the subject from PR firm Weber Shandwick and … Read More »
In the news game they were called The Wrinklies, the old men who for years dominated TV news at 60 Minutes. Now they’re dying off. Don Hewitt, Ed Bradley, Andy Rooney — and, this past weekend, Mike Wallace. Obituaries rightly celebrate these men’s substantial accomplishments. Wallace and his colleagues adapted the news documentary formula to make it engaging for TV viewers, and kept them coming back week after week. But if newscasters want to celebrate that legacy, then they need to stop emulating the reporting style that the 60 Minutes team developed 44 years ago and find different ways to make investigative reporting relevant and sustainable. Read More »
The host and producer of Like It Is, an influential public affairs show that aired on New York’s WABC, died today, about eight months after suffering from a stroke. He was 80. Noble joined the ABC flagship station in … Read More »
This is one of the first times in years that TV journalists and executives won’t need a box of Kleenex nearby when they read the Pew Research Center’s encyclopedic and authoritative annual State Of The News Media Report, which will be released today. Broadcast networks, cable news networks, and local TV stations all showed signs of improvement in 2011 as people became riveted by stories about Arab Spring, the death of Osama bin Laden, the shooting in Tucson of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Britain’s royal wedding, and the tsunami in Japan, according to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The audience for the major networks’ newscasts increased for the first time since 2001. Cable news viewing also was up, a relief after a huge slide in 2010. And local news gained ground, ending a five-year decline. To be sure, traditional news providers across the board still haven’t figured out how to make money in digital media. And last year they “lost more ground to rivals in the technology industry,” Pew says. The audience for online news sources grew 17.2% while revenues were up 23.0%, Still, researchers say that “news is becoming a more important and pervasive part of people’s lives” — and that “could prove a saving factor for the future of journalism.” Here are some of the highlights for TV news: Read More »
This is a big problem for traditional news outlets, including broadcast and cable TV, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Advertising dollars are moving so quickly to the Web that by … Read More »
Only 69% of adults turned to the tube first for election news last month, the lowest percentage in at least 20 years, according to the weekly surveys taken for the Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index. The latest figure is down from 72% four years ago, 78% in 2004, and 86% in 2000. Broadcasters are seeing the biggest losses. Just 32% of adults cited local TV news as their primary source for election news, down from 40% four years ago. The national nightly newscasts were down to 26% from 32%. Cable news channels held relatively steady at 36%, down from 38%. As you might imagine, a lot of people now are turning to the Internet for their political news fix. It passed newspapers to become the No. 2 source of election news, with 34% turning first to the Web vs 26% in the 2008 campaign and 13% in 2004. CNN.com ranked first for politics junkies on the Internet, followed by Yahoo News and Google News. Only 22% picked Read More »
This is sure to chill all of the newspaper and magazine companies that thought subscribers would return to the fold once the content became available on the sexy mobile devices. The finding comes from the most detailed study yet of the … Read More »
The TV station business is becoming tougher by the day, but here’s something that could make things painful: The broadcasters’ biggest cash cow, their local newscasts, could lose lots of viewers as people discover that they can find … Read More »
Fox has suspending two of its paid contributors with presidential aspirations, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, for 60 days. If the two don’t declare by May 1 that they won’t be running for president, their contracts will be terminated. Remaining on payroll at Fox News are two other potential presidential … Read More »
In what is the most gruesome attack against an U.S. journalist in Egypt so far, CBS News is reporting that its chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan suffered “a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” on Friday, the day … Read More »
David Muir has been named the sole anchor of the weekend edition of ABC’s World News. He had already been anchoring World News Saturday. Now he will also take over the Sunday editions, and the weekend broadcasts will be named World News with David Muir. Muir has been … Read More »
Fox News correspondent Greg Palkot, who, along with his camerman were badly beaten by demonstrators in Cairo on Wednesday, this morning gave a pretty fascinating firsthand account of the events in a post on foxnews.com. Here it is:
CAIRO, Egypt – It was Wednesday afternoon. We were covering the clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters near Tahrir or Liberation Square in Cairo.
A short time after we started our shooting, cameraman Olaf Wiig was threatened by a small group of pro-Mubarak thugs.
We ducked down an alley. It turned out to be a dead end, so we dashed into a nearby building.
At first it was a perfect vantage point to cover the street battle. Then it quickly turned into a battle station for the pro-government side.
Read More »
Egypt is rapidly becoming a very dangerous place for foreign journalists. On the heels of the attacks on Fox News’ Greg Palkot, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour, an NBC News crew has been carjacked by a group of angry Egyptian men and threatened with beheading. … Read More »
UPDATE FRIDAY: Greg Palkot this morning wrote a pretty fascinating firsthand account of the ordeal. Read it here:
PREVIOUS: FOX News Channel’s veteran foreign correspondent Greg Palkot and his camerman Olaf Wiig have suffered severe injuries in … Read More »