Posts Tagged ‘radio’

Study: Web-based news surpasses newspapers, radio in popularity

March 1st, 2010
According to a new study released today, 92 percent of Americans now use multiple platforms to consume news each day and the Internet has become a vital part in the daily lives of news consumers.

The survey, conducted jointly by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism, revealed the Internet is now the third-most popular news platform. Both local and national television news casts are still the primary source of news in the U.S.

With a quickly evolving landscape and new technologies, the Web has surpassed local and national newspapers as well as radio in popularity as a news platform.

A total of 59 percent of news consumers in the U.S. get news from both online and offline sources each day. More specifically, 46 percent of Americans say they get news from four to six media platforms and a mere 7 percent get their news from a single media platform on a typical day.

“In today’s new multi-platform media environment, news is becoming portable, personalized, and participatory,” the report indicates. “To a great extent, people’s experience of news, especially on the Internet, is becoming a shared social experience as people swap links in emails, post news stories on their social networking site feeds, highlight news stories in their Tweets, and haggle over the meaning of events in discussion threads. For instance, more than 8 in 10 online news consumers get or share links in emails.”

The study shows 33 percent of cellphone users now access news on the mobiles; 28 percent have customized their Internet homepage to include news from multiple sources and on multiple topics; and 37 percent of Internet users have contributed to creating news, commenting on news or disseminating news via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. According to Pew, they have done at least one of the following: commenting on a news story (25 percent); posting a link on a social networking site (17 percent); tagging content (11 percent), creating their own original news material or opinion piece (9 percent), or Tweeting about news (3 percent).

Online news junkies are using social networks to filter, discover and comment about various news events. Traditional email is also still used to share stories and comments. “Among those who get news online, 75 percent get news forwarded through email or posts on social networking sites and 52 percent share links to news with others via those means,” the report indicates.

Getting news has become a social experience, with 72 percent of news consumers indicating they enjoy talking with others about what’s happening around the world. Approximately half of Americans say they rely on people around them to tell them news they need to know.

The Internet has also changed the branding game, as many news consumers have a great deal of choice about who they read. According to the survey, however, the average news consumer visits only a handful of news sites and does not have a favourite.

With the growth of online news sources comes growing frustration or the feeling of being overwhelmed. According to Pew, 55 percent of respondents agree it’s easier to keep up with the news today than it was five years ago, but 70 percent say the amount of information is overwhelming.

In terms of overall consumption, Pew reports:
  • 56 percent of Americans say they follow the news “all or most of the time.”
  • 25 percent follow the news at least “some of the time”
  • And 99 percent of American adults say they get news from at least one of these media platforms in a typical day: a local or national print newspaper, a local or national television news broadcast, radio, or the Internet. 
So what are people searching for online? According to Pew, the most popular online news subjects are:
  • The weather (followed by 81 percent of Internet news users)
  • National events (73 percent)
  • Health and medicine (66 percent)
  • Business and the economy (64 percent)
  • International events (62 percent)
  • Science and technology (60 percent).
Respondents also said they would like to see more coverage of scientific news and discoveries (44 percent); religion and spirituality (41 percent); health and medicine (39 percent); state government (39 percent) and neighbourhood or local communities (38 percent).

The study was completed between Dec. 28, 2009 and Jan. 19, 2010. The results are based on telephone interviews with 2,259 adults (18 and older), conducted by Princeton Survey Research International. The full study can be found online here.

Study: 80% of news stories are repackaged from other sources

January 12th, 2010

According to a new study by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ), most of what the public learns still comes from traditional media outlets, especially newspapers. However, the amount of original reporting is on the decline.

The study attempted to look at who reports the news most people consume in their communities; the role of new media, blogs and specialty sites; and how a modern news “ecosystem” in a large American city works. The findings show most people still turn to traditional media to get their news, despite the fact there are more sources of information than ever before.

Using Baltimore, Md, as a test ground for one week, researchers examined all outlets that produced local content and examined six major narratives during that time frame. The study was conducted July 19 to 25, 2009 and the PEJ says this study is an attempt at trying to understand who is producing news and identify the character of what is produced.

According to the PEJ, “Much of the ‘news’ people receive contains no original reporting,” and “8 out of ten stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information.” The report goes on to say 95 percent of reports that did contain new information were from traditional media, mostly newspapers.

Scarcity of content

The PEJ says their analysis shows local papers are offering less content than they once did. According to their report:

For all of 2009, for instance, the [Baltimore] Sun produced 32 percent fewer stories on any subject than it did in 1999, and 73 percent fewer stories than in 1991, when the company still published an evening and morning paper with competing newsrooms.

Furthermore, the study indicates new media is not filling in the content void left by mainstream press, as blogs, Twitter and local news sites typically act more as an alert system or a way to disseminate stories from other websites.

New technology

Researchers concluded the Web is clearly the first place of publication now, as new technology has made it easier to publish quickly. With the rise of new technology, however, news is often posted with little enterprise reporting added. In fact, researchers noted they often saw official press releases posted word-for-word without that fact being disclosed.

They also said citing and crediting sources is an oft-skipped step, as they found many examples of websites reprinting sections of others’ work without credit.

Growth of media outlets

In Baltimore, the number of news outlets has expanded a great deal, as researchers identified 53 news outlets that regularly produce some kind of local content. These outlets range from blogs, to talk radio shows to sites created by former journalists. They also include “multi-platform operations that also make robust use of Twitter as a way means of dissemination.”

However, researchers say 83 percent of stories were repetitive and conveyed no new information, and the 17 percent that did were traditional media outlets. The Baltimore Sun is credited with producing 48 percent of these stories; a specialty paper focusing on business and law produced 13 percent; local TV stations and their websites accounted for 28 percent of enterprise reporting; radio stations produced 7 percent; and new media outlets accounted for 4 percent.

Researchers also note 31 percent of legacy media (newspapers, TV and radio) produced content on new platforms and nearly half of newspaper stories were online rather than in print.

In television, the PEJ says 36 percent of TV news stories were “anchor reads” and “tell stories” which is often material from wire services.

In radio, researchers say there was very little original reporting, with almost 50 percent of segments involving an anchor reading stories and 38 percent of segments including a host interviewing a guest or caller.

The PEJ says there were two cases of new media breaking information in Baltimore; one was a police Twitter feed and the other was a local blog that picked up a story the mainstream press nearly missed completely. A newspaper eventually found the blog and reported the story.

As more and more media outlets scale back on original reporting, researchers say reproducing others’ content has become a big part of the news media ecosystem:

Government, at least in this study, initiates most of the news. In the detailed examination of six major storylines, 63% of the stories were initiated by government officials, led first of all by the police. Another 14% came from the press. Interest group figures made up most of the rest.

The PEJ says new media, local bloggers and specialty outlets are “almost certain” to grow in number and expand capacity.

Topics vary by media outlet

The PEJ says the news agendas of media outlets were “strikingly different,” and “the world one encounters differs dramatically depending on where one seeks his or her information.”

According to their study, 23 percent of TV stories were about crime (double the amount of any other subject). With newspapers, crime reporting was nearly matched by reports on government, followed by business and education. In radio and new media, however, government was the No. 1 topic.

The study can be found online here.