The Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) released
its ninth edition of the State of the News Media for 2012 with a detailed report on the current standing of American Journalism. Within it there are lots of changes in the industry with addition and adoption of the digital invasion into the news process.
Diving into some of the key findings included in the report an overwhelming establishment of the mobile new era has begun and how people using their devices adds to people’s news consumption habits. In other words, eight out of every ten people receive the news on smartphones, tablets or conventional computers they currently use.
Also a prevalent and dominant factor that has shaped the mobile growth, about a quarter or 27 percent of the U.S population gets their news on digital devices. Contrary to some of the expectations, the focus for businesses now can be centered on efforts to build the revenue model around this platform that is resonating as popular platform for the majority of consumers.
“One of the biggest trends we see looking across the industry is the establishment of the mobile news era. People are getting news on their mobile devices and in many cases from multiple digital channels,” said PEJ Deputy Director Amy Mitchell. “At the same time, if you look at who is benefitting financially from this growth, the evidence there is the big technology companies are strengthening their grip on the revenue side of that equation.”
What the PEJ
Deputy Director Mitchell explained that in essence there is an interest to consume and get the news-not to mention the findings and trends in the report signal a continuing development of the digital news landscape. She said the drawback for the news industry clearly remains at trying to figure out new ways to support itself in deciphering these new new digital layers added from technology companies.
“Our analysis suggests that news is becoming more important and pervasive part of people’s lives,” said PEJ
Director Tom Rosenstiel. “But it remains unclear who will benefit economically from this growing appetite for news.”
Social media networking dominated by Twitter and Facebook
In the 2011 report which analyzed the online news behavior, Facebook was indeed a critical player in the dissemination of news. The PEJ in light of this quoted the following “If searching for news was the most important development of the last decade, sharing the news may be among the most important of the next.”
These key findings in this year’s report, social media
is an important player for how people get the news, however, it is not the driver of news at least not yet.
According to the Annual report on American Journalism, 54 percent of the United States (U.S) populations online are active users on Facebook (133 million users). Similarly, the other social networking
grew its users by 32 percent last year, which represents 24 million active users in the U.S.
What the report also confirms is this large activity on social networks-is without a shred of a doubt- is not just a new channel or a pathway for news. It will now become a growing pillar in the development of the next phases of the digital era in the new news process.
Therefore, it’s relatively safe to say that it’s a new player and will take on a new shape or form. Finally, social networking sites are not the replacements of news but merely a channel for the news business.
Takeaways to look forward to
In 2012, this year the trends for news outlets are to gradually move to digital subscription models and continue to harvest the growth in the arena of digital news consumption. Furthermore, the growth of smartphones, tablets and other digital devices will continue to be an upward trend in the U.S.
Because of the lagging ability of the old legacy news to move online, sustain profitability from its old revenue model, partnerships have spawned as growing need to survive for news agencies. For example, because of the financial necessities YouTube is funding Reuters to produce news shows, Yahoo and ABC News entered into a partnership, AOL purchased the Huffington Post and Facebook created partnerships with several important media companies (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and others).
Finally-what is very evident given all of this information released on the state of the media- Google, Apple, Amazon and other tech industry players are looking become gatekeepers and makers of everything? Certainly they want everyone to use their hardware, their Operating System (OS), their devices and other services to ultimately cash in on the revenue model the news industry is trying to create for itself because of the decline of its once upon a time successful commercial enterprise.