- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
HARPER: Study tracks news media’s challenges
Digital tablets and smartphones provide about the only good news for the media in the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s “State of the Media: 2013,” which was released this week.
It’s not that Pew should be blamed. The past 10 years of reports have provided great insights that few have followed.
Here’s the good news: The growth in the news audience in 2012 came on digital platforms, and the proliferation of digital devices in people’s lives seemed to be a significant reason.
In 2012, total traffic for the top 25 online news sites increased 7.2 percent. Pew Research found 39 percent of respondents got news online or from a mobile device within the past day, an increase of 34 percent from two years ago.
An estimated 31 percent of U.S. adults own a tablet computer — almost four times the number two years ago. Pew researchers report that nearly two-thirds of tablet owners said they get news on their devices weekly, while more than one-third do so on a daily basis. Web-enabled smartphones are even more widespread: About 45 percent of adults owned a smartphone, up from 35 percent in 2011. Again, roughly two-thirds of those surveyed got news via their smartphones weekly and a third daily.
“Accessing news is one of the most popular uses for the devices, enabling Americans to get news whenever they want and wherever they might be,” the Pew study concludes.
All media outlets must find a way to deliver quality content, particularly to tablets. Smartphones are mainly used for quick information, such as sports scores and headlines, while tablets target the market for longer stories and better advertising prospects. That means creating applications for both or using HTML5. Neither is an inexpensive solution, but a necessary one.
Overall, digital advertising grew 17 percent in 2012 to $37.3 billion, according to eMarketer, which amounts to nearly a quarter of the total U.S. advertising market.
Facebook and Google also have moved quickly into the mobile realm. Pew found that mobile ads grew 80 percent in 2012 to $2.6 billion, or roughly 7 percent of total digital ad spending. Media industry watchers expect this advertising area to hit 21 percent of the total market in the next three years.
News organizations have allowed Facebook, Google and other search engines the ability to obtain news and information at virtually no cost. Pew found that nearly one-third of more than 1,300 newspapers have put up a pay wall or plan to do so — an excellent idea to guard quality content. Most broadcast outlets still provide the material for free. If news organizations do not protect their content, Google News will be the dominant news source for years to come.
News outlets must force the search engines to pay for the content — just as the recording industry enforced copyright protections for music on the Web. Otherwise, Facebook and Google will make money off the backs of news operations throughout the country. It is time for the media to seize their news from search engines or lose the game entirely.
The entire report can be found at stateofthemedia.org/2013/.
And in a follow-up to last week’s column on CNN: Many people were outraged at the network’s “sympathetic” coverage toward two teenagers convicted of rape in Steubenville, Ohio, over the weekend. Read about the latest controversy at huff.to/Wz05Ls.
About the Author
Christopher Harper is a professor of journalism at Temple University. He worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and “20/20” for more than 20 years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Angry NTSB ousts railroad union from N.Y. train crash site
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Allen West warns Obamas backdoor gun control is moving forward
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Despite cynicism about the law, it can provide you justice, protection, and ensure your rights.