A new Pew Center Research report on the end of local newspapers is very telling.
“Fewer than half of Americans (43%) say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot.” Even fewer (33%) say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper a lot if it were no longer available.”
“About half of Democrats (49%) and 47% of independents say civic life would be hurt “a lot” if the newspaper shut down, compared with 33% of Republicans.”
A new study, by journalist Tyler Marshall and the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, The Changing Newsroom, describes some of the changes in news coverage over the past three years. “It has fewer pages than three years ago, the paper stock is thinner, and the stories are shorter. There is less foreign and national news, less space devoted to science, the arts, features and a range of specialized subjects. Business coverage is either packaged in an increasingly thin stand-alone section or collapsed into another part of the paper. The crossword puzzle has shrunk, the TV listings and stock tables may have disappeared, but coverage of some local issues has strengthened and investigative reporting remains highly valued.”
And, as Paul recently blogged about everything being online, I found Question 3 from the study really fascinating:
“Roughly what percentage of content produced by your newsroom staff appears only on your website and not in the paper?”
And, eleven percent of the ‘big newspapers’ said that 25-49 percent of their content appears only online and nine percent of the big papers said that over 51 percent of their content exists online only.
I wonder what this answer will be in another few years?