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.)

Pew Research CenterJune 5, 2013

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 […]

Fact TankMay 28, 2013

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.

Media & NewsMarch 17, 2013

The Changing TV News Landscape

The news programs that Americans watch on national cable channels and their local television stations have changed significantly in recent years while the network evening newscasts have remained remarkably stable, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

Media & NewsMarch 17, 2013

Friends and Family – Important Drivers of News

When they hear about news events from friends and family, the vast majority of people seek out full news stories to learn more, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center.

Media & NewsMarch 17, 2013

Americans Show Signs of Leaving a News Outlet, Citing Less Information

Faced with shrinking revenue and dwindling audiences, news organizations in recent years have slashed staffs and reduced coverage. Most news consumers are little aware of the financial struggles that led to these cuts, a new Pew Research Center survey finds. Nevertheless, a significant percentage of them not only have noticed a difference in the quantity or quality of news, but have stopped reading, watching or listening to a news source because of it.

Media & NewsMarch 19, 2012

What Facebook and Twitter Mean for News

Perhaps no topic in technology attracted more attention in 2011 than the rise of social media and its potential impact on news. “If searching for news was the most important development of the last decade, sharing news may be among the most important of the next,” we wrote in a May 2011 report analyzing online news behavior called Navigating News Online.

Media & NewsMarch 18, 2012

Mobile Devices and News Consumption: Some Good Signs for Journalism

The migration of audiences toward digital news advanced to a new level in 2011 and early 2012, the era of mobile and multidigital devices. More than three-quarters of U.S. adults own laptop or desktop computers, a number that has been stable for some years.1 Now, in addition, 44% of adults own a smartphone, and the number of tablet owners grew by about 50% since the summer of 2011, to 18% of Americans over age 18.

Media & NewsMarch 19, 2011

Seattle: A New Media Case Study

Seattle, perhaps more than any other American city, epitomizes the promise and challenges of American journalism at the local level.

Media & NewsMarch 19, 2011

Emerging Economics of Community News

It is easy to oversimplify what is happening in online news. Breathless headlines — from the $315 million sale of The Huffington Post to AOL, Patch’s march to 1,000 plus local sites, to the early dismantling of TBD.com in Washington, D.C. – tend to obscure other important efforts, especially on the local front.

Media & NewsMarch 19, 2011

Why U.S. Newspapers Suffer More than Others

While print newspapers everywhere face difficult challenges in the future, newspapers in the United States today are suffering more acutely than those virtually anywhere else in the world. In sharp contrast with the U.S. situation, overall print newspaper circulation worldwide has dipped only slightly so far in 2010. Revenues are expected to rise, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.