March 26, 2014

5 facts about the news business today

The last year has brought a great deal of momentum and energy to the news media industry, giving rise to new hope and optimism. But these new developments have not yet shown they can offset the underlying problems that have afflicted the news business. Here are five key findings from our latest State of the News Media report about the good news – and the bad news – about the news:

1The explosive growth over the last year at digital native sites includes a wealth of top-name journalists, but the biggest group of journalists – some 38,000 – are still employed by the newspaper industry, and their ranks have decreased dramatically in the last several years.

  • 5,000: Number of full-time editorial  jobs at nearly 500 digital news outlets.
  • 16,200: Number of full-time editorial newspaper jobs lost from 2003-2012.

2More than two-thirds of total news industry revenue comes from advertising, the vast majority of which is tied to traditional print and broadcast forms. While TV ads are stable, newspaper print advertising has fallen 52% since 2003.

  • $63-65 billion: Total incoming money supporting the U.S. news industry.
  • 8%: Percent of that total coming from new kinds of revenue and investment streams like venture capital, philanthropy, conferences and digital marketing services.

3A massive growth in local TV acquisitions has resulted in more stations sharing newsroom resources. A quarter of local TV stations now do not produce their own original news content.

  • 290: Number of full-power local TV stations that changed hands in 2013, up from 95 in 2012.
  • 25%: Share of the 952 local news stations that do not produce their newscasts themselves.     

4Growth in mobile and social as well as improved technology has spurred interest in watching – and creating – online news videos. Though growth has slowed somewhat in recent years (27% growth from 2007-2009 versus 9% growth from 2009-2013) , developments here are clearly creating more opportunity for consumers to be  part of the news process.

  • 36%: Share of U.S. adults who watch online news videos.
  • 12%: Share of social media users who have posted their own videos of news events on a social networking site.

5Digital video advertising, though, may not be a sure win for news. Dollars here are  growing, but still only account for about 10% of total digital advertising. And big, non-news players are quickly moving in, making it harder for news organizations to find a piece of the pie.

  • $4.15 billion: Estimated 2013 revenue from digital video advertising, up 44% from 2012.
  • 20.5%: Share of digital video ad revenue already captured by Google (through YouTube).

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: State of the News Media

  1. Photo of Amy Mitchell

    is director of journalism research at Pew Research Center.


  1. Dave Allen3 years ago

    Is it possible that #1 also reflects that Berkshire Hathaway Media Group has purchased just about every regional newspaper in the US?

    Did #2 take into account the massive decline (due to QE) of the US$? Since Jan-2003 (measured by the price of gold) it has lost 76% of its value ($334.35 -> $1284.70/oz). Was this accommodated in these figures, or are these raw revenue numbers?

  2. Lyndon Johnson3 years ago

    Hi Amy,

    There is definitely a huge shift, but does the 16,200 job losses include those that have moved from print to online roles?

    How much has online advertising grown since 2003 and how does the value of revenue from digital advertising compare with that of lost newspaper ad revenues.

    Thanks and best wishes,

    Founder, THINK | DIFFERENT [LY]

    1. Mark Jurkowitz3 years ago

      We do know that of the roughly 5,000 editorial jobs we identified in the emerging digital news world, a number of them are staffed by former newspaper staffers—although it is impossible to provide an accurate accounting of that. A number of smaller digital organizations, including nonprofits, have been started by former legacy journalists.

      While newspapers have lost more than half of their print advertising revenue in the past decade, the growth in digital advertising has fallen far short of replacing those losses. In 2003, digital advertising accounted for about $1.2 billion in total revenue for the newspaper industry. In 2013, that number was about $3.4 billion and that growth has been quite sluggish in recent years—edging up by only 1.5% from 2012 to 2013.

  3. David Cantu3 years ago

    So with everything being driven to the internet and baby boomer generation that used to watch local and national news on the decline as that demographic disappears. What going to happen to local news for TV or Newspaper?