Monday, January 11, 2010

Even as Print Newspapers are in Trouble, Newspapers Contniue to Set the Agenda

Everyone knows newspapers are in trouble. Advertising has dried up. Readership has declined. Papers have cut circulation, laid off reporters and editorial staff.

Yet there's interesting news about the impact of newspapers.

They still set the agenda for news cycles.

According to a New York Times article, "Study Finds That Papers Lead in Providing New Information": "Looking at six major story lines that developed over one week last July, 83 percent of the reports in local news media “were essentially repetitive, conveying no new information,” said the study, by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, an arm of the Pew Research Center."

Most of the new or original reporting came from reporters at newspapers, despite the increase in the number of news outlets available online.

Presumably, most of the rest of the coverage consisted of repetition and commentary, not new reporting.

That's going to be a problem as it seems likely to be more editorial layoffs in the short-term. With fewer reporters and fewer resources, there will be less new reporting even as the echo chamber gets louder.

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