Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 1:12am
STUDY FINDS MORE NEWS MEDIA OUTLETS, COVERING LESS NEWS
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Katharine Seelye]
The third annual review of the state of American journalism found that while there were more media outlets this year than ever, they were covering less news. The review was conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, an institute affiliated with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts. As part of the review, a special study looked at how a variety of outlets, including newspapers, television, radio and the Internet, covered a single day's worth of news and concluded that there was enormous repetition and amplification of just two dozen stories. Moreover, it said, "the incremental and even ephemeral nature of what the media define as news is striking." Cable news was the "shallowest" and most "ephemeral" of the media, the study said. Newspapers, which are the biggest news-gathering organizations, covered the most topics, provided the most extensive sourcing and provided the most angles on particular events, it said, "though perhaps in language and sourcing tilted toward elites." Many of the national broadcast reports quoted the same few people. "More coverage, in other words, does not always mean greater diversity of voices," the study said. "Consuming the news continuously does not mean being better informed." Tom Rosenstiel, director of the project, said that reporters seemed to be increasingly shunted off to an isolated area while covering events, as they were during the recent mining disaster in West Virginia, giving them little first-hand access. "The irony is that having more reporters doesn't mean more coverage," he said. "It means more reporters crowded into one corner of the scene."
See The State of the Media 2006:
* The Big News: Shrinking Reportage
* More News Outlets, Fewer Stories: New Media 'Paradox'
NEWSPAPERS HAD DIFFICULT YEAR IN 2005
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Sarah Ellison firstname.lastname@example.org]
The newspaper business had another difficult year in 2005, in advertising, circulation and stock performance. But for the first time, the industry has been shocked into making more serious investments online to capture new readers and keep existing ones, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The question for investors and news organizations is whether the online initiatives will pay off. In its annual "State of the Media" report, the nonprofit journalism research group said online revenue, while growing more quickly than print revenue, remains only a fraction of total advertising revenue at newspapers, and that print advertising that moves online generates only about 20 cents to 33 cents for each dollar lost in print. Last year's increase in online investment wasn't limited to newspapers. Television network news divisions are also putting more investment behind their online operations, the report says, and like newspapers are focusing increasingly on creating original content for online readers. That's a change from last year's report, which found that "creativity in new technology appeared to be coming mostly from non-news organizations like Google." The report also found that big-city metro newspapers have been losing circulation at faster rates than community papers. All three big national newspapers -- the New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal -- reported fairly steady circulation over the past two years.
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