The Past, Present and Future of American Journalism

The “State of the News Media 2011,” an annual report from the Project for Excellence in  Journalism includes new survey data and information on American journalism. In the overview of this report, it states the decrease in newsroom staff due to economic pressures and the advancements in technology. “We estimate 1,000 to 1,500 more newsroom jobs will have been lost–meaning newspaper newsrooms are 30% smaller than in 2000.” If those statistics didn’t cause a flurry in your stomach then maybe this will.

The report goes on to state that the traditional journalism may be at risk of losing control. “The biggest issue ahead may not be lack of audience or even lack of new revenue experiments. It may be that in the digital realm the news industry is no longer in control of its own future.” In order to connect the content that journalists are producing they must find interlocking outlets in order to get to the consumer. These institutions that are now in direct line with the consumer are the digital platforms. As mentioned in my previous post “Facebook knows more about you than the New York Times,” Tom Rosenstiel is the founder and director for Project for Excellence in Journalism said at a news literacy conference at Stony Brook University.

The report states that “in 2010 every news platform saw audiences either stall or decline — except for the web. Cable news, one of the growth sectors of the last decade, is now shrinking, too. For the first time in at least a dozen years, the median audience declined at all three cable news channels.” This emphasizes the fact that people aren’t just adding the Internet to their daily lives, but they are completely migrated–meaning they are leaving their old forums behind!  Below is a graph that depicts the change in audiences.