Media is known to be a quick-moving entity. When I was younger, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were barely in existence. Now, they are taking over the world generation by generation.
This, however, doesn’t mean that more traditional ways of media consumption are dying off.
According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, daytime viewers of cable news stayed stable, and NPR affiliate news stations viewership increased.
I think the most interesting increase was in the audio and podcasting fact sheet. According to the Pew report, terrestrial listenership remained high and steady, while online radio listenership grew. Online radio listenership in cars by people who own cell phones (aka listening to podcasts, etc.) while driving increased as well. NPR listeners increased as well.
I knew that podcasts and online radio were up-and-coming, but I did not know the reach that they had on our population. It seems that podcasting may be the light and the end of the tunnel when it comes to a so-called “dying industry”.
Radio, which is possibly the most traditional media, is still the one that is sticking around and remaining in control. It is a reliable source and is easy to get your hands on. This is a perfect example of media reinventing itself for a fast-moving society. This kind of re-invention is especially important when a lot of the reports included decreases in viewership or income.
For example, according to the Pew report, both morning and evening network news viewers declined. However, political talk shows on network news stations remained stable. I think that is another interesting fact to emerge from the report. Although daily, more traditional news is losing its viewers, people still find keeping up with politics is important. I think this has something to do with President Trump and his consistent interaction with the media in a way that no other president has before.
According to Pew, local TV and news viewership is declining as well. Morning, evening, and late night news viewers have all decreased, as well as their on-air advertising. This may be because of their increase in online ads, leading to a larger online presence as we move towards an increasingly online world and society. On the bright side for local TV, their dedicated time on air has remained steady and so has their employment.
Local TV and news are still important to our society, especially with the increase in online news sources and sites. This is the easiest way to find out what is happening locally around you and within the state that you live in. Network news can be too wide ranged for local needs. Local TV is traditional media that may seem like it is dying out, but is actually just moving online.
Overall, our society may seem like it’s moving in a completely new direction. In reality, the media is reinventing itself to move along with our quick paced society.