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.
NBC makes a bet on getting user-generated content from citizen videographers
NBC News purchased a digital start-up company that allows anyone with a smartphone to stream live video to the network from the scene of breaking news, a move that could lead to increased use of user-generated content.
Local TV newsrooms in 2012: Bigger budgets, smaller staffs
The latest data on local television economics offers mixed messages: increasing revenue from news programming but cuts in newsroom budgets.
5 facts about ethnic and gender diversity in U.S. newsrooms
Last week, San Francisco Bay area television station KTVU broadcast fake names for the pilots of the Asiana Airline flight that crashed on July 6. The error involved ethnic stereotyping, leading the Asian American Journalists Association to assert that these kinds of mistakes “underscored the importance of newsroom diversity” at America’s media outlets. A similar […]
News magazines hit by big drop in ad pages
In a difficult advertising environment for the magazine industry overall, newly-released numbers from the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) show the nation’s news magazines being hit particularly hard.
Men, for the most part, still run newsrooms
In August, Deborah Turness will become the first woman to head a network news division as she takes the reins as president of NBC News. Nine years ago, she made history in precisely the same way in Great Britain, as she headed ITV News, a BBC rival. But industry data show that men continue to […]
Newspaper newsrooms suffer large staffing decreases
The American Society of News Editors released its annual newsroom census figures today showing a severe decline in the size of newspaper staffs..
Can a new morning program revitalize CNN?
This week, CNN launched New Day, a three-hour morning program at the center of the channel’s effort to regain its footing in the world of cable news. To do that, it will have to compete not only with the major networks, but also with more popular shows on Fox News Channel and MSNBC. This is […]
Nonprofit Journalism: A Growing but Fragile Part of the U.S. News System
Nonprofit news outlets represent a growing new source of information – but one facing substantial challenges to its long-term financial sustainability.
Is MSNBC the place for opinion?
MSNBC president Phil Griffin generated plenty of media attention this week when he said, in a New York Times interview, that his channel was “not the place” for breaking news. “Our brand is not that.” Griffin was responding to a significant decline in MSNBC’s ratings, which the Times reported was down 18% in prime time […]
Al Jazeera America’s biggest challenge: ’getting people to show up’
It’s not on the air yet but, already, Al Jazeera America is creating a buzz in the world of journalism. Unlike so many news outlets that have been shedding staff the past few years, it’s hiring (and hiring big), bringing on about 800 employees as it prepares to launch an ambitious cable news channel later this year.