News consumption is up, but only at online news outlets, according to an annual review of the state of the industry. For the first time in the survey’s history, consumers’ primary source for news wasn’t print newspapers. From the AP: “The rapid growth of smart phones and electronic tablets is making the Internet the destination of choice for consumers looking for news, a report released Monday said.
“Local, network and cable television news, newspapers, radio and magazines all lost audience last year, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research organization that evaluates and studies the performance of the press. News consumption online increased 17 percent last year from the year before, the project said in its eighth annual State of the News Media survey.
“The percentage of people who say they get news online at least three times a week surpassed newspapers for the first time. It was second only to local TV news as the most popular news platform and seems poised to pass that medium, too, project director Tom Rosenstiel said. Local TV news has been the most popular format since the 1960s, when its growth was largely responsible for the death of afternoon newspapers, he said.”
This comes at a time when the New York Times announces that it will begin charging for its online content. Those of us who have grown used to reading the Times online must now decide if we should make the investment to continue to gain access to the information. From the Times article:
“No American news organization as large as The Times has tried to put its content behind a pay wall after allowing unrestricted access. The move is being closely watched by anxious publishers, which have warily embraced the Web and struggled with how to turn online journalism into a profitable business.
â€œA few years ago it was almost an article of faith that people would not pay for the content they accessed via the Web,â€ Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company, said in his annual State of The Times remarks, which were delivered to employees Thursday morning.
â€œThis move is an investment in our future,â€ he said. â€œIt will allow us to develop new sources of revenue to support the continuation of our journalistic mission and digital innovation, while maintaining our large and growing audience to support our robust advertising business. And this system is our latest, and best, demonstration of where we believe the future of valued content â€” be it news, music, games or more â€” is going.â€