Media stories of note for Monday, March 18, 2013:
The annual State of the News Media report
has been released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The report is a scorecard on media, primarily in the U.S., in the last year with special examination of elements of media. This year's report identifies several critical problems, principally a smaller workforce in traditional outlets and the rise of special-interest groups in covering significant news. Its other main conclusions:
the public is noticing the cuts, the news industry isn't earning a large share of digital advertising, there is a sharp growth in sponsored content, the growth in digital subscriptions appears to be having an impact on revenue, local TV news is following newspapers into cuts, word-of-mouth is leading to deeper news consumption.
Britain's Parliament will vote Monday on a proposed charter to regulate the media. On the eve of the vote, The Guardian reports t
hat three major news companies indicate they would boycott any regulator with legal clout (a proposal from the opposition Labour party) and establish their own self-regulation. The proposal follows the collapse of all-party talks on the matter following the Leveson inquiry into press conduct. Early Monday, though, the three parties agreed on a plan,
although they are publicly disagreeing on whether there is legal underpinning of a regulator.
Ken Doctor, writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab,
has an elaborate look at what he believes will be the newsroom economics (newsonomics, as he calls it) in five years. His main expectation is that data will be gathered about the audience to permit advertisers to understand and value the content creators appropriately, but he has an extensive blueprint, much of it patterned on the recent successes of Financial Times in this space.
Justin Ellis, also writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab,
examines how The New York Times last week experimented with an online comment filter following the announcement of the Pope to filter their identities and moods. The result was a more structured and arguably more relevant online discussion, he concludes.
The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism
has issued its eight annual State of the News Media
report today. It's a definitive look at American media, with some implications for media outside the U.S. in trends and practices.
The report concludes that, with the exception of newspapers, media operated better in 2010 than in 2009 on many frontiers. Some new business models began to blossom, for instance.
But the report says that the problems aren't involving audiences or even the new models.
"It may be that in the digital realm the news industry is no longer in control of its own destiny," the executive summary of the report concludes. New intermediaries are adding layers to the relationship between consumers and advertisers, whether they are software manufacturers or platform creators, and their share of the revenue and data pose new challenges.
Among major trends: executives from outside, some willingness to pay, untapped local news opportunities, a new media economy of smaller entities, and assistance to media via the car bailout.
The report looks at newspapers, online
, television networks
, cable television
, ethnic and alternative press
, magazines, audio
and some special reports on, among other things, international newspaper economics
and the online experiments in Seattle.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism issued its annual
State of the Media report Sunday. It is typically massive and comprehensive and, not surprisingly, even a cursory reading reveals a very sour note.
The message: Even with everything new in media, what has been lost cannot be replaced.
Some of the initial points in the report:
1. Consumer behaviour has changed. Media business models are affected. Journalism will be influenced as a result.
2. New and old media are more tethered than they think. The former needs the latter to reach an audience.
3. News media are not shrinking, but reportorial work is.
4. Technology is shifting control to newsmakers, who are using it to influence early perceptions of events.
5. The rise of special interests online is going to force journalism to forge new relationships.
6. Traditional media continue to hold sway with audiences online, so cuts in their newsrooms have an impact on online content, too.
On newspapers, the report notes they aren't disappearing, but their ad declines are threatening to make them insubstantial. On online journalism, there is no business model and it difficult to see where one will emerge. On network television news, an erosion --- not a collapse --- in evening newscasts is occurring. On cable news, ideology is responsible for growth. On local TV news, all signs point downward. On magazines, it was a tough year. On ethnic media, it was a year of holding one's own.
In its early report on the volume, The New York Times focuses
on the relative monogamy of news users. They tend to have a narrow selection of preferred sites to surf.
The report usually takes a few days to absorb. More to come.
There is always sage work inside the Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual State of the News Media report, and its trend analysis this time has much to offer the craft in how its work is being used.
It points out that news is no longer a product, but a service, and that news organizations or their Web sites are no longer final destinations. The report is quite negative on the qualities of user-generated content. And there is some pat-on-the-back observations of the innovation taking place in newsrooms.
The more troubling signs for journalism are that the agenda for American news media is narrowing.
And, as if media aren't their own worst enemies, the advertising business is having enormous trouble reshaping itself.
A particularly interesting report within the report is on the future of advertising, and I'll post more on that in the time ahead.
The fifth annual State of the News Media report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism was released this morning. While its examination is of U.S. print, broadcast and online news, there are implications worldwide of its findings.
It's a long read and it's early to divine the conclusions, but the first message you take away is that the crisis in journalism isn't necessarily the loss of audience but the uncoupling of news and advertising as media migrate into a digital model.
The traditional media are actually more dominant in the online space than they have been in so-called legacy media. But advertising isn't following.
The good news: Newsrooms are innovating.
The not-so-good news: The paid search function online isn't a priority for news sites, and that's where the money is.