I recently watched Steven Spielberg’s political-thriller, The Post. While tensions were high and my adrenaline was racing, Meryl Streep stated the news is like a rough draft of history and it is for the governed NOT the governors.
This phrase in the movie stuck with me and surely will resonate with those of us with a journalism background. The movie continued to replay through my head as I read through the Pew Research Center’s State of the Media study. It made me realize how important it truly is to be aware of the nature of this business.
Newspaper Fact Sheet
Due to my inability to shake the movie from my head, I started with the Newspaper fact sheet because it made me think of The Washington Post.
In the movie, The Washington Post was suffering financially and a decision had to be made about taking the company public. The well-being of the company was murky if it was to stay as a local paper with a lack of any significant revenue coming in.
This still holds true today in the financial nature of print journalism. According to Pew, more people are consuming the news digitally or finding their news online— nine out of ten adults to be specific. On top of that, the industry’s “financial fortunes have been on the decline since early 2000s.”
This fact reminded me of the Media Literacy class I took in fall 2017. I learned a concept called centrifugal diversification. News consumers are straying from retrieving their news from a centralized source, giving consumers selective communication. News is tailored to fit everyone’s personal interests and needs by the convenience and endless possibilities via their smart phone.
This concept seems to explain why newspaper circulation has been on the decline— why get a physical copy of the paper when it is at the tips of your fingers?
It seems as if the nature of the business is shifting. We, as consumers, no longer wait for newspaper delivery trucks to deliver the latest copy of the news — as seen on The Post. We refresh. We scroll. We tap. Indeed, it is still important to remember that while a shift in news consumption is among us, the information is still reaching the public and remaining as a public service.
Digital News Fact Sheet
I chose the digital news because the conclusions I drew from the newspaper fact sheet seemed to go hand-in-hand. As I mentioned above, the study stated that nine out of ten people consume their news digitally— that fact did not surprise due to my reasons above. However, I did find it interesting that even older adults, ages 50+, are even getting their news digitally. This fact was not part of the reading it was a separate article from Pew called, Growth in mobile news driven by older adults by Kristine Lu. It’s fascinating that while there may be a learning curve with technology and those who did not grow up with it, we can still find a common denominator when it comes to getting our news.
I thought this was a very engaging read. It opened my eyes to the current state of this business and it is important to keep updated on these facts. I plan to spend additional time reading through other articles because I find this interesting.