Geneva Swanson

State of the (Digital) Media

Yesterday, today and most certainly tomorrow the media is a target of scrutiny. Even if the most powerful politicians in the world weren’t calling nearly every news station “fake news,” people would find a reason to discredit the media and news. So, what is the state of the media today? To find out, I looked at the most recent report from the Pew Research Center.

Digital News Fact Sheet
I know it will come as huge surprise to you, but yes most people get their news from those handy dandy devices that fit in the palm of your hand. Roughly 9/10 adults in the U.S. get their news from their cellphones, according to the Pew Research Center, which means digital advertising and technology companies are benefitting BIG due to our generations phone obsession — “addiction” if you want to be exact.

Many companies are now beginning their designs for mobile screens then converting them to a computer screen as opposed to starting the design as a computer screen like they have done in the past.

Social media plays a large role in news outlets and the medias online presence. Mobile advertising is the future, and social media has already started to take over online advertising. Facebook especially with online tracking of their users “clicks”.8f1a5d54d22a983654981c8ccd1f10efdec06ba92fa3c701481c7b3d40a0c386.jpg

Newspapers Fact Sheet

Once long long ago when the digital world didn’t yet exist (I know hard to imagine), newspapers ruled. Now digital is how more people are accessing information and news, and the need for paper is diminishing. Many generations still subscribe to newspapers or magazines but the newer generations are growing up with more of an interest in the online and not in the hard copy.

It is a difficult shift from newspaper to online, most companies have tried and still can’t make up for the profits they can make from newspapers. Places like The New York Times have online subscriptions but still have hard copy available.


So, the million dollar question is when (not will) news completely transfer over to digital and how smooth will that process be?

Cable News Fact Sheet

Oh how the mighty have fallen, oh wait or maybe they haven’t. According to the report, viewership for cable news increased in 2016 and was people’s main source for information during the presidential election.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 8.50.41 PM

So, all the complaints you hear about 24/7 news cycles, fake news, bad reporting, bias, and boring interviews doesn’t show in the data. Profit for these stations is also up from past years, so more people are tuning in. This could be because of political intensity within the past year or maybe it’s because people still enjoy sitting down and not only hearing but seeing the news, many people are visual learners after all.

So, what’s happening?

We are already making the drastic move from hard copy to digital. The complete turnover to digital is most likely sooner than many expect. Despite harsh criticism of cable news, it’s still a hot spot and profitable outlet.

The struggle for the media is how fast technology is changing the business, the news is something people need every day and at any time of day. To beat other stations, you have to be faster and adapt quickly.


5 thoughts on “State of the (Digital) Media

  1. Geneva,
    A lot of good things here. I like how you mentioned the switch (when) to all digital media. It is so true! It has to come, you said it yourself. News is all about getting things as fast as possible and journalism has to adapt. Newspapers are too slow now, at least for our generation. Mobile news is the best way, which I thought was really interesting with the apps and other services via mobile devices. I also like the cable tv ratings. I found that interesting as well. Cable is still going up! What? I thought we were all about being online now, but I guess not so much. It really is interesting because it gives us journalists some room to breathe. We have more options after graduation . . . online journalism, broadcast will still be around, and who knows, maybe newspaper can make a comeback. The future is unknown.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Geneva,

    Anthony agrees about the switch to all-digital media, and I’ve personally experienced this phenomenon. The Ann Arbor News ceased print production and I lost my job as a paper boy in 2009. However, I don’t feel like we will ever see the end of printed news – at least within our lifetimes. Take niche magazines, for example. While many niche publications walk the line between print and digital with online magazines, I can say confidently that print isn’t dead and, when done correctly, is actually growing. But these are bi-monthly magazines with very dedicated readers and a different approach to publication than general newspapers. So, what about the dedicated newspaper readers for big time sources like the New York Times? Will the NYT really ditch print production and go digital-only?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that the reason ratings are increasing recently is probably because of the heat of social issues and politics (especially right now) and citizens taking more of an interest in these topics and wanting to know more!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Geneva,
    I really like your take on the State of (Digital) Media. I agree with a lot of what you have to say. I think the change to strictly digital media will come sooner than we think. I know that many newspapers and magazines rely heavily on advertisements to make revenue, however, I believe that digital media has and will open many new doors for these companies to make money. I personally have not read a hardcopy magazine, newspaper, or even watched cable television in the past month. Why? Because I can get the same information on my phone or tablet in real-time. It only makes sense to change everything to digital. Also, love the memes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Geneva,

    I really loved your use of memes within your article. It gave your article a voice and it organically integrated comedy and facts. I wanted to read more.

    I also think the drastic move from hard copy to digital is a challenging but necessary one. I think the idea that people are “addicted” to their phones is an accurate assumption. I don’t remember the last time I went a day without my phone.

    I appreciate your tone and style in this article. I look forward to speaking to you about it in class.

    Liked by 1 person

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