Skip to main content

Pew's State of The Media: Fewer reporters; social media opportunities grow

  • Author:
  • Updated:

News companies in 2012 continued to see reporting resources shrink and their mission evolve as politicians, government agencies, companies and other newsmakers used social media to take their messages directly to the public. That's according to the newly released State of the Media report by the Pew Research Center.

The bottom line, according to Pew: "The news industry is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands."

But Pew also notes that new players are emerging to produce content about public interest issues, including education and science. One example: The Kaiser Family Foundation, which produces Kaiser Health News.

Among other highlights and key findings of the report:

– Newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry's ranks down 30 percent since a peak in 2000 – below 40,000 full-time jobs for the first time since 1978.

– On local TV stations, sports, weather and traffic now make up about 40 percent of the content produced on the newscasts studied – and story lengths are shrinking.

– On CNN, the cable channel that has branded itself around in-depth reporting, story packages were cut nearly in half from 2007 to 2012.

– Time magazine, the only major print U.S. news weekly left after Newsweek printed its last issue, cut about 5 percent of its staff in early 2013.

– Political reporters covering campaigns are acting mostly as megaphones for politicians – not investigators who probe, interpret and offer context about candidates.

– The news industry continues to lose out on most of the new digital advertising. But the long-dormant sponsorship ad category is seeing sharp growth.

– People who hear about news from friends and family, whether via social media or actual word of mouth, are leading to deeper news consumption.

Pew focuses on a number of areas in its 10th annual report: changes in television news; the lessons of the 2012 election; how people get news from friends and family—and what they do next; and the financial struggles facing the industry.

Slate's take on the report: "Ignore the doomsayers: The news-reading public has never had more and better information at their fingertips."

Huffington Post's angle: Journalism cutbacks are driving consumers away.

Media Bistro leads with the report's finding that cable news viewership may be hitting a ceiling.

And Adweek follows the money: Digital news consumption is up, but revenue is dwindling.

Next Up

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.


Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 27

Cases remain very high but hospitalizations have been plateaued for the past week.

state patrol

Minnesota state trooper injured at crash scene on I-35

The trooper was in his squad when another vehicle struck.

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: Man stole thousands from 3 Twin Cities banks

When he was arrested, police found a folding knife on him.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here's what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in his first press conference

The 40-year-old former Wall Street trader originally wanted to be an economics professor.


Minnesota DFL to allow non-voters to participate in its caucuses

The party is holding its precinct caucuses this Tuesday.

T Kline Robbinsdale City Council

Council member offers first comments on DWI, fleeing police charges

Prosecutors say he was drunk while fleeing police on the wrong side of the highway.

Seventh Street Truck Park shooting, St. Paul

Charges: Man schemed to illegally buy gun used in Truck Park mass shooting

He's the second person to be charged in connection to the straw-purchasing scheme.


Does social media have any place in business?

Social media is all the rage. But does is help to make meaningful business connections? Help find a new job? Or help find answers to pressing needs or questions?

Fewer male teachers in Minnesota despite growing demand

There is a growing gender gap within teaching ranks, both locally and nationally. In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports the number of men teaching has gone from 27 percent to 25 percent over the past decade. The drop comes at a time when schools want to hire more teachers with different backgrounds, including men, minorities and immigrants.

Minneapolis top city for social media jobs

The online publication, All Twitter, says Minneapolis has the 13th-highest volume of social media jobs. The salary for a blogger in the Twin Cities can range from $16,000 – $44,000. A social media marketing manager in Minneapolis is the best paid position with a range of $54,000 to $85,000. California and the Northeast dominate the top five places.