Since 2004, Pew Research Center has issued an annual report on key audience and economic indicators for a variety of sectors within the U.S. news media industry. These data speak to the shifting ways in which Americans seek out news and information, how news organizations get their revenue, and the resources available to American journalists as they seek to inform the public about important events of the day. The press is sometimes called the fourth branch of government, but in the U.S., it’s also very much a business – one whose ability to serve the public is dependent on its ability to attract eyeballs and dollars.
Over the years, the Center’s approach to these indicators has evolved along with the industry, carefully considering the metrics, sectors and format in which the data appear. Instead of a single summary report, our approach is to roll out a series of fact sheets showcasing the most important current and historical data points for each sector – in an easy-to-digest format – a few at a time. (State of the News Media reports from 2004-2017 are archived as PDFs and available here.)
Cable News Fact Sheet
Cable TV is home to a set of television channels whose news broadcasts have become an important information source for many Americans.
Hispanic and African American News Media Fact Sheet
News media made by and for the two largest racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States – blacks and Hispanics – have been a consistent part of the American news landscape.
Network News Fact Sheet
Network TV news – appointment viewing for many Americans – saw its audience decline over the past year.
Audio and Podcasting Fact Sheet
The audio news sector in the U.S. is split by modes of delivery: traditional terrestrial (AM/FM) radio and digital formats such as online radio and podcasting.
Local TV News Fact Sheet
Local television news programming has shed audience over the past decade, but it still garners more viewers on average than cable and network news programs.
Newspapers Fact Sheet
Newspapers are a critical part of the American news landscape, but they have been hit hard as more and more Americans consume news digitally.
Digital News Fact Sheet
In the U.S., roughly nine-in-ten adults (93%) get at least some news online (either via mobile or desktop), and the online space has become a host for the digital homes of both legacy news outlets and new, “born on the web” news outlets.
Public Broadcasting Fact Sheet
Hundreds of local and regional radio and television stations comprise the U.S. public media system.
Methodology for State of the News Media
The State of the News Media fact sheets use a range of different methodologies to study the health of the U.S. news industry, including custom analysis of news audience behavior, secondary analysis of industry data and direct reporting to solicit information unavailable elsewhere.
All Publications from this Topic
5 facts about the state of the news media in 2017
Audiences for nearly every major sector of the U.S. news media fell in 2017 except for radio. Cable news revenue continued to rise, as did digital ad revenue.
Newsroom employment dropped nearly a quarter in less than 10 years, with greatest decline at newspapers
Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers. And even though digital-native news outlets have experienced some recent growth in employment, too few newsroom positions were added to make up for recent losses in the broader industry.
About a third of large U.S. newspapers have suffered layoffs since 2017
Newspaper layoffs have far from abated in the past year, and digital-native news outlets are also suffering losses. At least 36% of the largest U.S. newspapers and at least 23% of the highest-traffic digital-native news outlets experienced layoffs between January 2017 and April 2018.
Among U.S. Latinos, the internet now rivals television as a source for news
On a typical weekday, three-quarters of U.S. Latinos get their news from internet sources, nearly equal to the share who do so from television, according to a 2016 survey of Latino adults by Pew Research Center.
Fewer Americans rely on TV news; what type they watch varies by who they are
Just 50% of U.S. adults now get news regularly from television, down from 57% a year prior in early 2016.
Key trends in social and digital news media
Read 10 key findings from recent Pew Research Center reports about today’s digital news media landscape.
Americans’ online news use is closing in on TV news use
As of August 2017, 43% of Americans report often getting news online, just 7 points lower than the 50% who often get news on television.
Growth in mobile news use driven by older adults
Roughly two-thirds of Americans ages 65 and older now get news on a mobile device (67%), a 24-percentage-point increase over the past year.
Despite subscription surges for largest U.S. newspapers, circulation and revenue fall for industry overall
Some major newspapers reported a sharp jump in digital subscriptions, but the industry as a whole faced ongoing challenges in 2016.
Buying spree brings more local TV stations to fewer big companies
As of 2016, Sinclair, Nexstar, Gray, Tegna and Tribune owned an estimated 37% of all full-power local TV stations in the country.