From the Reynolds Journalism Institute

Despite sharp revenue declines over the last five years, publishers of U.S. daily newspapers remain optimistic about the future of their industry.

After a year marked by solid growth in mobile products and a proliferation of paid content models, an overwhelming majority of publishers in a recent survey — 69 percent — expressed optimism about the future of their business. Only 6 percent said they were not optimistic. More than 400 publishers were surveyed in late 2013 as part of the second Publishers Confidence Index, the largest study of its kind, conducted by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Missouri School of Journalism.

Publishers were asked to rate their optimism about the future of the industry on a five-point scale, ranging from “very optimistic” to “not optimistic at all.”  Nearly one in four (24 percent) identified themselves as very optimistic, while nearly half (45 percent) said they were somewhat optimistic. One quarter chose the midpoint on the scale, while 5 percent said they were not optimistic to some degree. Only 1 percent chose “not optimistic at all.”

Respondents answered a broad range of questions about efforts to establish new digital platforms, notably mobile products, and to capture new revenue streams. Details will be discussed in upcoming articles.

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