State of the News Media: Tech advances add “new layers of complexity” for industry

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The State of the News Media 2011 from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism was released this morning (March 14). “The biggest issue ahead may not be lack of audience or even lack of new revenue experiments,” its overview says. “It may be that in the digital realm the news industry is no longer in control of its own destiny. News organizations — old and new — still produce most of the content audiences consume. But each technological advance has added a new layer of complexity—and a new set of players—in connecting that content to consumers and advertisers.”

The authors of the eighth annual report estimate that 1,000 to 1,500 more newsroom jobs will have been lost in 2010, translating to a 30 percent drop in newsroom staff since 2000.

Here are comments from news analyst Rick Edmonds, who has contributed to each report. Of particular concern to Edmonds: When asked what would happen “if my local newspaper no longer existed,” only 28 percent said “that would have a major impact on my ability to keep up with local news and information.” Another 30 percent said it would have a minor impact and 39 percent said it would have no impact. And mobile news users were even more dismissive of newspaper content.

The project also contains a report on how American newspapers fare relative to those in other countries, two reports on the status of community media, a survey on mobile and paid content in local news, and a report on African American media.

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