Readers, viewers and listeners may not have followed the contraction of the news business closely, but they’re beginning to notice the effects of five dismal years for many publishers. That’s one of the key findings of this year’s State of the News Media report from Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
“Nearly a third of U.S. adults, 31%, have stopped turning to a news outlet because it no longer provided them with the news they were accustomed to getting,” the report says.
With reporting resources cut to the bone and fewer specialized beats, journalists’ level of expertise in any one area and the ability to go deep into a story are compromised. Indeed, when people who had heard something about the financial struggles were asked which effect they noticed more, stories that were less complete or fewer stories over all, 48% named less complete stories while 31% mostly noticed fewer stories. Overall, awareness of the industry’s financial struggles is limited. Only 39% have heard a lot or some. But those with greater awareness are also more likely to be the ones who have abandoned a news outlet.
The report is a rich document that requires a lot more attention than one blog post can give it. But here are some other takeaways of immediate interest.