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State of the News Media 2008 — It’s More Troubled

Here is the first sentence of the State of the News Media 2008 report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism:  

The state of the American news media in 2008 is more troubled than a year ago.

Here are highlights from the introduction (I will have more over the next couple of days):

  • Even with so many new sources, more people now consume what old media newsrooms produce, particularly from print, than before. Online, for instance, the top 10 news Web sites, drawing mostly from old brands, are more of an oligarchy, commanding a larger share of audience, than in the legacy media. The verdict on citizen media for now suggests limitations. And research shows blogs and public affairs Web sites attract a smaller audience than expected and are produced by people with even more elite backgrounds than journalists. 
  • …it appears the biggest problem facing traditional media has less to do with where people get information than how to pay for it — the emerging reality that advertising isn’t migrating online with the consumer. The crisis in journalism, in other words, may not strictly be loss of audience. It may, more fundamentally, be the decoupling of news and advertising.
  • …their basic challenge: somehow they must reinvent their profession and their business model at the same time they are cutting back on their reporting and resources.

Here is an AP Story about the report, a Wired story,  a CNet story and a PC World blog.

Of course, this reaffirms that our Representative Journalism trial at Locally Grown in Northfield, Minnesota is indeed extremely important.  

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