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.
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.
Gibbs takes over a troubled Time magazine
Nancy Gibbs, Time magazine’s newly-named managing editor — and the first woman to hold that position — takes the reins at an uncertain time in the publication’s history.
Return of CNN ‘Crossfire’ injects more opinion into evening cable news
CNN’s “Crossfire” is back, injecting more opinion-driven programming into an evening cable news landscape that is already chock full of ideology and commentary.
Time Warner vs. CBS: The high stakes of their fight over fees
The weeks-long battle between Time Warner Cable and CBS that is keeping the network’s programming from being shown in major markets comes down to the all-important question of retransmission fees.