Pew Research Releases State of the News Media Report for 2012

For media wonks like us, a gift has arrived in the mail today: The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism State of the News Media Report 2102.  Authored by Amy Mitchell  and Tom Rosenstiel, the report is a rich trove of information about the current state of new media, as well as media industries.

“Our analysis suggests that news is becoming a more important and pervasive part of people’s lives,” PEJ Director Tom Rosenstiel said in a release. “But it remains unclear who will benefit economically from this growing appetite for news.”

One the first pass of the study, we've pulled out a few interesting bits and placed them below.  But since there's much to discover in this deep document, we encourage everyone with an interest in today's media to have a look, and share you thoughts about trends you're seeing in Hawaii's news media.

Immediately in the overview, Mitchell and Rosenstiel cut to the chase on how technologies are influencing markets:

In 2011, the digital revolution entered a new era.

The age of mobile, in which people are connected to the web wherever they are, arrived in earnest. More than four in ten American adults now own a smartphone. One in five owns a tablet. New cars are manufactured with internet built in. With more mobility comes deeper immersion into social networking.

Where audiences are also continues a shift towards the web.

Other major trends include:

  • As many as 100 newspapers are expected in coming months to join the roughly 150 dailies that have already moved to some kind of digital subscription model. 
  • The emerging landscape of community news sites is reaching a new level of maturity — and facing new challenges. 
  • Mobile may be leading to a deeper experience with news than on the desktop/laptop computer. 
  • News viewership on television grew in unexpected venues.  
  • More news outlets will move to digital subscriptions in 2012 — as a matter of survival.
  • As privacy becomes an even larger issue, the impact on news is uncertain. 

Also a major trends is that social media are important, but not overwhelming drivers of news, at least not yet.  This is idea expanded upon in a Special Report: What Facebook and Twitter mean for news. “News organizations have a big opportunity in the social and mobile realms,” PEJ Deputy Director Amy Mitchell said in a release. “But they will need to do a better job than they did in the desktop realm of understanding audience behavior and developing effective technology and revenue models.”

The report also gives readers a good look at just who will be looking at 'effective media and revenue models'. The section entitled, Who Owns the News Media, links to a database with ownership figures across a variety of platforms. We'll be looking closely at local TV station ownership and viewer statistics in preparation for our political advertising project this summer, so stay tuned for more details.