the transition to digital journalism
Print and Broadcast News and the Internet
As more people consume news online, news organizations face the dilemma of reallocating resources to attract new readers and viewers while still trying to hold on to their existing, and usually aging, print or broadcast audiences.
Online revenues for most news media are still a small fraction of the income from traditional print or broadcast. And after many years of double-digit annual increases in online advertising revenue, the trend tapered off dramatically in 2008 and 2009, with online revenues flat or even decreasing.
For newspapers, typically 15 percent or less of total revenues come from online operations (although the Los Angeles Times reported in late 2008 that online income was enough to pay for the paper's entire print and online news staffs).
Magazines similarly get less than 10 percent of their revenue from their digital operations according to an Advertising Age survey of 2008 revenues.
Financial viability for newspapers and most magazines, at least for now, requires retaining as many existing print readers as possible.
Yet the trends are clear: people, especially the young, are turning to the Internet for more and more of their news and developing an effective digital strategy is essential for long-term survivial:
For other and more detailed statistics on where people get their news see:
- Media Use and Evaluation - Gallup Organization, December 2008
- Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Source - Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, December 2008
- Americans Believe Internet News Most Reliable - Zogby International, June 2009
- Digital Set to Surpass TV in Time Spent with US Media - eMarketer, 8/1/2013
While the trend toward online is clear, not everyone is embracing it. As of the end of 2007, about 25 percent of people in the U.S. still said they hadn't ever been online.
For print and broadcast organizations, this means a core group of their audience remains wedded to traditional products and often resistant to getting news online.
For additional statistics on trends in consumption of traditional news media see:
- The State of the News Media - Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism - includes data on newspaper, magazine, network television, local television, cable television and radio audiences. Published annually in the Spring.
- Newspaper Readership Trends - Newspaper Association of America
- Magazine Circulation - Magazine Publishers Association of America
- Magazines - Mr. Magazine
- Television - Nielsen Media Research
- Radio - Arbitron
Readings and Resources
- Sixty Years of Daily Newspaper Circulation Trends, 1950 - 2010, Canada, United States, United Kingdom - Communic@tions Management Inc. discussion paper, 5/6/2011 (pdf)
- Daily Newspaper Circulation Trends, 2000-2013, Canada, United States, United Kingdom - Communic@tions Management Inc. discussion paper, 10/28/2013 (pdf)