WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The State of the News Media

May 12, 2015

The Pew Research Center has released its annual report on the news media. It looks at website usage, TV news ratings, podcast listening, newspaper ad revenue, and more.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton thinks the report contained good news for TV stations.  The study said numbers rose for local and network TV news and dropped for cable news.  Crighton said much of the programming on cable news operations such as Fox and MSNBC is not objective, while local and network newscasts are generally more reliable sources of information.

Panelist Rich Moreno concurred and said it’s encouraging to see a study that suggest people might be turning away from the cable news outlets.  But he’s a bit disheartened by the finding that newspaper ad revenue continued to decline. Moreno said newspapers are still trying to figure out the best way to transition into the digital age.

Regarding digital news websites, Moreno said he asked his students whether they prefer to read articles on-line or on paper.  He said students told him they will read shorter articles on a phone or tablet, but they often opt for a hard copy for longer articles or for books.

The study also found podcast listening is up.  That caught the attention of panelist Rich Egger. He hopes people are still listening to and supporting their local radio stations rather than skipping them altogether in favor of downloaded programs.