The State of the News Media 2015

state of news industry 2015One of my favorite annual reports is the Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2015. Now in its 14th year, the report is one of the best indicators of the health of the news media industry. The major theme from this year’s report is the rising challenge news organizations face managing mobile and social media audiences. Most notably, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites have more traffic coming from mobile than from desktop computers.

For those of you working in digital marketing or related fields, this should come as no surprise to you. More consumers are accessing all kinds of websites via mobile devices than from desktop computers. What’s surprising is how slow news organizations are adapting to the rise of the mobile consumer. This may be intentional, as mobile visitors are less valuable to advertisers (and therefore publishers) according to Pew (validated by comScore data). [Read more…]

Top 25 U.S. Newspapers Online

Most newspaper rankings are usually based on circulation numbers from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). It makes sense to rank newspapers by circulation, since the more papers that ship, the more people a paper reaches and the more influence it has. That seems a little outdated. What if you took the top 25 newspapers – at least as far as the ABC is concerned – and ranked them by different criteria.

Over the course of the next couple of posts, I’ll take a look at the top 25 papers by a different set of online criteria: website traffic, Google PageRank, Twitter Followers and Facebook Friends. [Read more…]

What Can Journalism History Teach Us About the Present?

old-telegraph3Have you ever wondered about The Evolution of The Summary News Lead, or when the first stock average was published in a newspaper? Maybe you want to read about famous journalists (did you know Ernest Hemingway started out as a journalist?). As you might expect, there are a lot of great resources on the Web about the history of journalism.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like some stuff going on around us could make it into the journalism history books. While many ponder questions about what the future of journalism will look like, it’s also a good time to reflect on the past (you know, that thing about history repeating itself?).

It’s easy to see how some could view the Internet as a threat to newspapers, when you look at how telegraph fans must have felt about radio waves (as a side note, the telegraph transformed journalism forever, serving as the foundation for the first wire service). The Internet is just the latest medium to come into favor. We’re moving forward, not backward. I’m sure we’ll get freaked out someday when our kids start getting information in yet a new way (communicating via telepathy for example), and the Internet seems so yesterday.

Here are some great resources I found on the Web for brushing up on your journalism history:

(Source: most of the links referenced in this post were found on Poynter Online’s Journalism History Bibliography. Visit this site for dozens of Journalism History resources.)

What are some of your favorite moments in journalism history? What resources should I add to this list?
(Photo: cliff1066 / Cliff)

Big Challenges for Journalists in the Current Media Environment

Yesterday we did a post about some of the most common challenges facing media relations professionals in 2009. Now we’ll shift gears and touch on the biggest challenges facing journalists today. Like the media relations challenges, we’ve had some great discussions with journalists about their current working environments and the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Some of the most challenges cited by journalists are:

  • Having to write content across multiple formats (print, Web, blog, etc.) – asked to produce more content than ever before
  • Dealing with constant changes to coverage areas and beats
  • Working in uncertain economic environment – layoffs are happening all over the place
  • Forced to do more with less – staff cuts means there’s more work for those left behind
  • Competing against other outlets for the best stories – working around challenges of a 24/7, global news climate
  • Adapting to new media – social networking and Twitter for example
  • Processing and filtering incoming information efficiently – including the high-volume of pitches and press releases
  • Managing relationships and sources for ongoing story development
  • Dealing with uninformed PR reps and off-topic pitches
  • Finding necessary information from PR reps and online press rooms

Many of these findings will come as no surprise to professional journalists or publicists, but the problems seem to be amplified in the current uncertain economic environment.

Do you work in the current media environment? What challenges are you facing on a daily basis? In what areas could you use more help to do your job? What could media relations professionals do to make your job easier? What tools or resources do you find most helpful in your daily work? Let us know your thoughts.