Today when I received one of my many text alerts of breaking news to my iPhone, I got to thinking about how other people receive their news. With so many outlets that are readily available, people can get their news from newspapers, television, online websites, social media and even handheld devices like the tablet or a smart phone.
In recent surveys conducted by the Pew Project for Excellence, 34% of people who participated said that they had read news online within the past 24 hours while 41% said they get the majority of their news online. This is 10% more than those who said they receive their news from a newspaper. The 18-29 year old demographic reported that 65% of them get their main source of news coverage online. This means that online news is the second most popular way to receive news, with TV still taking first place. This means that the amount of people who read news from a newspaper is becoming smaller and smaller. If readers are focusing more energy on online reading, this means that advertisers are now shifting to online advertising. From 2009 to 2010 the advertising sector grew 13.9%, which is the first time online advertising trumped newspaper advertising.
Is the shift from using old media news gathering techniques to new media news gathering techniques positive or negative? I think that there are pros and cons to each. Obviously receiving news online or via text message makes life a lot easier. I can get the news headlines right to my phone without lifting a finger, but does this make us loose a sense of imagined community? It used to be that the news was either on the radio or TV at a certain time and everyone sat around to hear what was going on in the world. The paper used to be delivered once a week and people sat down to read what was happening. There are still techniques of old media circling today, but what will happen if the old way of receiving news is completely diminished?
This brings me to give you a preview of what I will explore next week. With the new media becoming so dominant in the way we receive news, there are more opportunities for people to report on news. Who are the journalists of the new media society? Is it just newscasters who are hired at certain news stations or can an everyday citizen be a journalist? Check back next week!