Assessing a New Landscape in Journalism
Institutions and funders have been moving to fill the gap being left by shrinking newsrooms by backing non-profit news sites. Roughly half of these sites produce news that is clearly ideological in nature.
Most Say Political Sex Scandals Due to Greater Scrutiny, Not Lower Morality
A 57%-majority says elected officials just get caught more often because they are under greater scrutiny. About two-in-ten (19%), on the other hand, say elected officials have lower moral standards than ordinary Americans.
Press Coverage and Public Interest
The public tended to maintain its interest in major breaking news stories considerably longer than the press did. And the press tended to maintain substantially more interest in Washington Beltway controversies than did its audience.
Public’s Top Stories of the Decade — 9/11 and Katrina
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 drew more public interest than any other story in the past decade. The 2005 hurricanes in the Gulf, high gasoline prices and the collapse of the economy in 2008 also grabbed overwhelming public attention.
Americans Spending More Time Following the News
Americans are increasingly integrating new technologies into their news consumption habits. As a result, the average time spent with the news is as high as it was in the mid-1990s.
Most media executives do not see a bright future for journalism. Still, newspaper leaders are more optimistic than their partners in broadcast. Finding revenue is a giant problem, but there is strong resistance to taking government or advocacy dollars.
Stories of 2009: Public vs. Press
The media’s top stories generally reflected the public’s top interests, but the press gave more coverage to politics (Kennedy’s death, Palin’s book, Specter’s switch) than the public was willing to follow.
Partisanship and Cable News Audiences
In recent years, Republican viewers have migrated increasingly to Fox News but Democrats comprise a larger share of the Fox News audience than Republicans do of CNN’s audience.
How the Public Judges News Network Ideology
The perception of Fox News as mostly conservative is shared across news audiences, but Fox News viewers are more likely to see the other cable and network stations as mostly liberal.
Strong Support For Watchdog Role, Despite Public Criticism Of News Media
The percentage of Americans saying that press criticism of political leaders keeps them honest is nearly as high now as it was in the 1980s, when views of the media were far less negative than they are today.