Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Latest newspaper numbers

Posted by Craig on 8/19/2008
Here's a news flash (not really): A study released this week by the Pew Research Center found that newspaper readership is (still/again) on the decline.

Just 34 percent of Americans are reading a daily newspaper, compared to 40 percent in 2006, and 48 percent in 1998. On the other hand, 37 percent of Americans are going online for their news at least three days a week, compared to 31 percent in 2006, and 13 percent in 1998. These latest numbers support Pew's State of the News Media 2008 report from back in March.

The online-only Huffington Post, which I've been reading increasingly lately, had a story up on this latest Pew poll on Monday. While many newspapers are cutting back, the Huffington Post just launched HuffPost Chicago, a hyperlocal news source and community, the first of its kind for the formerly "national" publication. We'll see where that goes and whether or not HuffPost expands to other cities, but my point is, outlets like Huffington Post seem to be growing, while we saw more cutbacks at Gannett and Tribune Co. just last week.

Arianna Huffington herself commented on the Huffington Post story in her Google Reader, which I'm now subscribed to. She writes, "A good snapshot of journalism's hybrid future.: more online, TV still strong, newspapers scrambling to adjust." I'm not sure I agree with the whole of that statement, but I think the hybrid future and online parts were right on. I think where TV fits into all of this and where newspapers end up are still up for debate.

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