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.

Fact TankJune 25, 2015

Why a mobile news startup couldn’t survive in a mobile news world

Circa is the latest casualty of a fragile digital news scene that is by no means immune to the risks facing startups in general.

Fact TankJune 3, 2015

Facebook’s deal with publishers a stark reminder of digital ad gulf

A hard look at the digital publishing business shows the degree to which Facebook, more than any other single company, is where the digital display ad money is.

Fact TankMay 22, 2015

The declining value of U.S. newspapers

Over the past two decades, major newspapers across the country have seen a recurring cycle of ownership changes and steep declines in value.

Media & NewsFebruary 26, 2015

As 2016 election looms, MSNBC shakes up its programming strategy

MSNBC shifts its focus toward “original reporting” as its overall ratings remain strong, but total revenue for the year lags significantly behind CNN’s.

Fact TankFebruary 12, 2015

America’s news anchors are less recognizable now, but network news is still alive

NBC’s suspension of anchor Brian Williams from the helm of its flagship evening news program has led to some debate about the future for network television news.

Fact TankDecember 23, 2014

Market is still hot for buying up local TV stations

The rush to acquire local TV stations by media companies’ continued in 2014 and resulted in strong financial pay offs for them.

Fact TankDecember 10, 2014

The New Republic and the state of niche news magazines

The data suggest that the New Republic have a tough road ahead, with single-copy newsstand sales falling in 2013 and 2014.

Media & NewsOctober 31, 2014

Interest in midterms may be low, but local TV awash in political ad spending

Local TV has been receiving the largest portion of political media spending for at least a decade, but the share it consumes and the total dollars reaped continues to grow.

Fact TankOctober 9, 2014

Cutbacks at CNN highlight the cable news paradox

In terms of TV viewership, cable news peaked as a medium around the 2008 presidential election and, while showing impressive potential in digital, the business model is uncertain.

Media & NewsAugust 22, 2014

News companies make play for India’s growing digital market

A growing number of news companies are making plays for India’s growing digital market, with the Huffington Post being the latest entrant.