PaidContent had a nice synopsis of the current state of online news. The Pew Research Center for People & the Press put out the study which talks at length about the blending of “old” and “new” news consumption.
Some of the most interesting tidbits from the article include numbers that are not always talked about within the walls of a news organization.
For example, “A sizable minority of Americans find themselves at the intersection of these two longstanding trends in news consumption. Integrators, who get the news from both traditional sources and the internet, are a more engaged, sophisticated and demographically sought-after audience segment than those who mostly rely on traditional news sources. Integrators share some characteristics with a smaller, younger, more internet savvy audience segment – Net-Newsers – who principally turn to the web for news, and largely eschew traditional sources.”
Another paragraph drives home what is well known within the newspaper industry:
Since the early 1990s, the proportion of Americans saying they read a newspaper on a typical day has declined by about 40%; the proportion that regularly watches nightly network news has fallen by half.
These trends have been more stable in recent years, but the percentage saying they read a newspaper yesterday has fallen from 40% to 34% in the last two years alone. Newspapers would have suffered even greater losses without their online versions. Most of the loss in readership since 2006 has come among those who read the print newspaper; just 27% say they read only the print version of a daily newspaper yesterday, down from 34% in 2006.
I can remember the conversations that had opinions like, “nobody is going to want to use their phone to do anything on the web, the screen is just too small.” Yet, the hard numbers show just the opposite is now happening: “Overall, 15% of Americans say they have a smart phone, such as an iPhone or a Blackberry. More than a third of smart phone owners (37%) say they get news from these devices.”
The best news that I found in the article was, “More people get news online than watch nightly news—37 percent to 29 percent.”
The news I am the least surprised by is: “The public continues to express skepticism about what they see, hear and read in the media. No major news outlet – whether broadcast or cable, print or online – stands out as particularly credible.”