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. This year, instead of a single summary report, a series of fact sheets showcasing the most important current and historical data points for each sector – in an easy-to-digest format – will be rolled out a few at a time over the coming months.
Listed below are the 2017 fact sheets released so far, along with links to related reports that provide other angles of analysis about the news media industry. (State of the News Media reports from 2004-2016 are archived as PDFs and available here.) Check back in the coming months as the collection below grows – and in the years to come as these fact sheets continue to be updated with the latest data.
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.
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.
Network News Fact Sheet
Network TV news – appointment viewing for more than 20 million Americans – has experienced relative stability in the size of its audience over the past decade.
Newspapers Fact Sheet
Newspapers are a critical part of the American news landscape, but they have been hard hit as more and more Americans consume news digitally. Explore the patterns and longitudinal data about U.S. newspapers.
Cable News Fact Sheet
Cable TV is home to a set of news channels that have become a destination for political news. Explore the patterns and longitudinal data about cable news.
All Publications from this Topic
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.
5 key takeaways about the State of the News Media in 2016
The State of the News Media in 2016 is uncertain, with daily newspapers looking shakier than ever, digital advertising and audiences continuing to grow, and TV news mostly seeing gains in revenue.
Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World
On cellphones, longer news stories get about twice the engaged time from readers as shorter pieces do. They also get roughly the same number of visitors.
Crowdfunded Journalism: A Small but Growing Addition to Publicly Driven Journalism
The number of journalism projects funded through Kickstarter has grown over time, totaling more than 650 projects and nearly $6.3 million by mid-September 2015.
In 21 states, local newspapers lack a dedicated D.C. reporter covering Congress
Between 2009 and 2014, the number of Washington-based reporters for local newspapers accredited by the Senate to cover Congress declined by 11%.
5 key takeaways about today’s Washington press corps
The face of the Washington press corps has changed markedly in recent years, transformed by an increase in the number of journalists working for “niche” publications and digital startups.
Today’s Washington Press Corps More Digital, Specialized
There are more niche news outlet reporters than daily newspaper reporters on Capitol Hill. In the late 1990s, daily newspaper staff outnumbered niche reporters by more than two-to-one.
In the news industry, diversity is lowest at smaller outlets
Minorities are still underrepresented at U.S. news organizations, especially when it comes to the places that would-be journalists traditionally try to break into the business: smaller local TV and newspaper outlets.
Early morning, noon and late evening slots drive growth in local TV news
Faced with multiple years of audience declines during traditional time slots, many local TV stations began expanding their programming to nontraditional hours such as very early morning, midday and at 7 p.m.