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 2004-2016 are archived as PDFs and available here.)
Listed below are the 2018 fact sheets released so far (noted as “Updated” beside their title), the sheets released in 2017 that have not yet been updated, and links to related reports and blog posts that provide other angles of analysis about the news media industry.
Audio and Podcasting Fact Sheet (Updated)
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 (Updated)
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 (Updated)
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 (Updated)
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 (Updated)
Hundreds of local and regional radio and television stations comprise the U.S. public media system.
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 more than 20 million Americans – has experienced relative stability in the size of its audience over the past decade.
Cable News Fact Sheet
Cable TV is home to a set of news channels that have become a destination for political news.
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
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.
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.