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.)
5 key findings about digital news audiences
Web visitors who arrive at news sites by typing in a URL or clicking a bookmark behave quite differently from those who arrive via search engine or social media.
Social, Search and Direct
Direct visitors to 26 top news sites—those who type in the news outlet’s URL or have the address bookmarked—are far more engaged with that news than users who arrive from Facebook or a search engine, according to a new analysis of online traffic data.
The Sochi effect on NBC and the morning news wars
How many Americans will go to sleep with the Olympics and wake up with Today – and will it will be enough to reverse ABC’s morning momentum?
Local TV audiences bounce back
Bucking a long-range trend of declining viewership, the audience for local TV news grew in all three major time slots in 2013.
5 facts about Fox News
Roger Ailes’ 17-year-old Fox News Channel has changed the face of cable news.
Local TV stations post mixed results as some feel loss of political ads
The rush to acquire local television stations produced revenue growth for some media companies in the year’s third quarter, while others suffered losses tied to a plunge in political ad dollars.
50 years ago, America turned on the television
TV audience and survey data from the days immediately following JFK’s assassination show that Americans collectively tuned in to non-stop coverage that pioneered a new form of wall-to-wall television news delivery.
At newspapers, photographers feel the brunt of job cuts
Photographers, along with other visual journalists, represent the category of newsroom staffers hit hardest by the rounds of job cuts.
5 indicators of nonprofit news sustainability
Five key data points from the Knight Foundation report that provide a sense of how the nonprofit news field is faring.
How Americans Get TV News at Home
Even at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. And while the largest audiences tune into local and network broadcast news, it is national cable news that commands the most attention from its viewers.