In transforming to multi-media entities, newspapers feel confident they're going to be chosen as reliable sites for content. They command the most resources among local media, generally speaking, so their challenge is to adopt and adapt as their audiences find new ways to consume information.
The Newspaper Association of America has new data on the growth in Web site traffic for newspapers, and it's generally encouraging. Unique visitors increased about six per cent in 2007, to about 60.6 million Americans. The last quarter of 2007 was a record quarter. and some 39 per cent of all Web users visited a newspaper site. There were about three billion page views in the fourth quarter, which represents an increase of about seven per cent --- not gigantic, but quite good.
There are some challenges for papers: Visitors spent somewhere around 44 minutes a month, which is about what they'd spend in a day with a newspaper.
The recent State of the Media report signalled many of the same findings of growth and adaptation, but did suggest the audience for news online may be peaking --- in essence, that newspapers are entering a period of fighting for market share.
The association is, as you might expect, quite bullish on the numbers. It argues that newspapers are becoming the trusted sources in the digital environment.