Bridget Bartos

Media is reinventing itself

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

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”.

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

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.

3 thoughts on “Media is reinventing itself

  1. I really enjoyed all your points, especially the emphasis on radio. My only question is, do you think radio will decrease over time as podcasts and audio segments become easily accessible online or via cellphones? Will networks decrease when websites and podcast channels increase?


  2. Bridget,
    I agreed with your entire take on the Pew Report. I also found it interesting the stability of political TV news. I do agree this was due to the spread of fake news, the 2016 election and President Trump’s antics. During this time I knew people who had to stay away from the news for their sanity, because it just seemed like the election was just taking turn after turn. While for me, I was glued to every political TV channel that would give me accurate information, as it was my first election. I believe a lot of millennials found it important to be informed, and they knew social media was going to 100 percent be the answer.


  3. I also think one of the most interesting statistics was about radio and podcasts. I think we can all attest to the fact that podcasts were nearly nonexistent, yet suddenly everyone we know is listening, has listened or is going to listen to a podcast. It’s not only a way of getting hard-hitting news, but a way of sharing human interest and feature stories. I agree with Katie’s question: will podcasts replace radio? Most people I know access podcasts from their phone. So, what does this mean for the future of radio?


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