Dire “State of News Media” provides in-depth look at revamped “PBS Newshour”

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“State of the News Media 2010,” this year’s annual report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, warns that the “the losses suffered in traditional news gathering in the last year were so severe that by any accounting they overwhelm the innovations in the world of news and journalism.” The massive report includes an analysis of the revamped PBS NewsHour, which recently melded its online and on-air coverage (Current, Jan. 11). The show had a 0.8 for the 2008-09 season, flat from ‘o7-08. David Sit, v.p. of NewsHour and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, told researchers that excluding a $5.2 million grant for coverage of the 2008 presidential election, the program budget for the fiscal year ending June 30 increased 15 percent, about $3.5 million, to $27.7 million. The budget increase was primarily due to more corporate underwriting in the 2009-10 fiscal year, which went from $5.7 million in ’08-09 to $10 million in ’09-10. Sit also said that in February 2010, website traffic had increased about 30 percent in year-over-year comparisons. Video downloads also doubled.

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