5 Lessons Learned from the 2013 State of the News Media Report

Navigating the massive landscape of our digital world can seem like an impossible task, with news extending to all corners of the media world. For the tenth year in a row, however, Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has taken on that task by producing their 2013 State of the News Media report.

In the evolving world of digital media and news consumption, looking at statistical trends and patterns can be integral to staying on top of the game. Here are 5 lessons from the findings to better guide your news media strategies, whether you’re a reader, writer, or publisher:

  1. Independent voters are key: Major networks need to appeal to independent voters, both on and offline. According to the 2013 State of the News Media report, independents are the most likely to have left a news outlet, making up 34% of those who no longer follow certain news outlets.
  2. Print is out, digital is in: Since 2000, there has been a 30% decline in newspaper newsroom staff, and based on the downward curve of the graph below, this trend is likely to continue as readers increasingly consume news from behind the computer screen. If you’re an aspiring journalist, your best bet at success is with online journalism. News organizations should take note, and adapt accordingly.
  3. Paywalls are not the end all be all: Paywalls are not only proving to be successful with popular media companies like the New York Times, but mid-sized online newspapers have seen success with digital only subscriptions, with 450 of the 1,380 daily newspapers in the U.S. having or planning on adopting paywalls for content.
  4. Local news is shifting: Traffic, sports, and weather combined take up 40% of local TV newscasts, representing a 25% increase in the three categories.
  5. Mobile Marketing is trending: Advertising revenue for mobile devices alone in 2012 totaled $2.6 billion Of the total market for digital mobile display ads, 72% can be attributed to just six companies. That means it’s likely you’ve seen an ad from Twitter, Facebook, Apple iAds, Millennial Media, Google, or Pandora on your phone recently.

Some key findings can be visualized in the infographic below:

2013 State of the Media Report