Times are tough for journalism as a field. I work in it — so believe me, I know.
It’s not easy to miss: newspapers are folding, assets are being sold off and converged, journalists are being laid off. Ratings are down for network news, advertising is down in the paper, and some people think that radio is a dying medium.
That said, there was one area of growth in the past year that does lend some hope: online journalism. As the Globe and Mail reports, online has overtaken print for the first time ever, and as consumers are getting more and more advanced devices, the consumption of online news media will only grow. That is, according to Project for Excellence in Journalism director Tom Rosenstiel, if media organizations are smart enough to get on board:
People are just becoming accustomed to having the Internet available in their pockets on phones or small tablets, he said. In December, 41 per cent of Americans said they got most of their news about national and international issues on the Internet, more than double the 17 per cent who said that a year earlier, the report said.
In January, 7 per cent of Americans owned electronic tablets, nearly double what it was three months earlier. Rosenstiel said it's the fastest-growing new digital technology, ahead of cellphones when they were introduced.
From a business standpoint, however, the growth in Internet news consumption hasn't been harnessed by news companies. The project didn't have numbers available but said online ad revenue was expected to surpass print newspaper ad revenue for the first time in 2010.
“The news business used to be the intermediary,” Rosenstiel said. “You needed newspapers and TV stations to reach your customers. In this age, it's the device makers and software developers.”
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