Monday, March 1, 2010

Pew outlines new media revolution

The rise of the Internet has dramatically changed media habits (not news), but a new Pew Research report delivers lots of news demonstrating the extent of the change and how it will impact our media futures.

The report is filled with nuggets like "The process Americans use to get news is based on foraging and opportunism. They seem to access news when the spirit moves them or they have a chance to check up on headlines." As the report continues, "While online, most people say they use between two and five online news sources and 65% say they do not have a single favorite website for news. Some 21% say they routinely rely on just one site for their news and information."

People's relationship, the report says, is portable (a third of cell phones are used to access news), personalized (nearly a third have personalized their home pages to bring them specialized news), and participatory (37 percent of all Internet users are adding news or commenting on news).

TV networks cut back on news divisions

Television networks are cutting back on news operations amid fears about the future. The latest is ABC, which is stripping nearly a quarter of its news personnel.

On the surface, it looks like they are following the oh, so successful model of newspapers (it's really hard to show sarcasm in blog posts). In fact, as you dig deeper, it looks the same. Still the New York Times article does a good job of putting broadcast news in perspective as changes sweep the news landscape.

It also contains nuggets like this, which show student journalists where they need to be going: "More journalists will become jacks-of-all-trades, wielding cameras, microphones and lights, as well as lists of interview questions. More production work will be conducted out of New York. 'The ones who fear the most from the cuts are the ones that have a single function,' one ABC staff member said." Training across platforms is as much a part of the job as learning to write a lead.