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TelevisionConsumers have noticed cutbacks in newsroom spending and they are increasingly abandoning traditional media. These cutbacks leave news organizations less capable of monitoring companies and business.

Those are the findings of Pew Research Center’s annual State of the Media report.


– Television news coverage of government has dropped by half since 2005. Traffic, weather and sports now make up 40 percent of the content, which is not a good sign, since those things can easily be found by a variety of other sources.

– “Regular local TV viewership among adults under 30 fell from 42% in 2006 to just 28% in 2012.”

– Cable news is more “cable talk,” with the delivery of traditional news stories dropping 30 percent from 2007 to 2012.

– Nearly one-third of study respondents said they abandoned a news outlet because it no longer delivers the content they expect.

– “Campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.”

– Figuring out a viable digital model is still a challenge for news organizations, which are failing to grab huge shares of the online ad market.

The findings suggest news outlets have yet to find the sweet spot for producing quality news and balancing their budgets. If we don’t find it, consumers will continue to jump ship.

Links of the Day:

– If New York City is allowed to test speed cameras, it’s only a matter of time before they come to Rochester.

– Cuomo’s top cop double dips. I’m not sure why this is such a big deal, considering it’s happening all over the state. Lt. Governor Bob Duffy is among a plethora of retired law enforcement personnel allowed to collect their pensions and salaries.

– Before they decide on gay marriage, let’s look at the marriages of the Supreme Court justices.

– NFL players are subjected to different medical standards than the rest of us.

7 Responses to State of Media: Not Great

  1. “- “Campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.” ”

    I can’t remember the last time I heard a reporter of any type ask a question at a local government press conference or photo-op interview of a public official.

    Certainly text press releases afford no opportunity for questions not to mention follow-up questions by phone, Skype or text messaging.

    The news media has become nothing more than a house organ for all levels of government proclamation and all sides know it. The public figures walk away from the podium, the reporters from their smart phones and the public from their TV’s.

    It’s no wonder no one cares about them anymore.

  2. the megaphone comment is spot on. The d&c is the worst offender, but your channel and the other tv news stations are guilty of it also. Sometimes they push hard questions, but they never follow up or keep the heat. You guys just let the local politicos give you a short misleading answer and take it for fact.

  3. The TV-news-as-entertainment trend started a couple decades ago and has really taken off. But TV is dying so…

    Internet news now consists mostly of links, summaries, and keywords designed firstly to get clicks. It’s all about the bombastic headline. Often a blatantly false headline just to generate curiosity. Twitter is seen as a top-rate source that a whole story can be built around. Ever try to find legitimate source material for a claim in a story and end up at a no-name blog with no references? Happens to me often.

  4. March 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm lellingw responds:

    One of the most concerning problems is the lack of local media to cover state government. State governments are barely receiving any scrutiny and people are more aware of federal politicians than local ones though they may have a greater effect on the life of the community.

  5. March 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm Orielly responds:

    On this site alone we have constant updates on city spending initiatives, almost every week. On a monthly basis, we hear the city leaders complaints about deficit budgets.

    I have yet to hear one local reporter ask the city leaders why are they spending on these initiatives (wasteful city spending ideas like, skate parks, marinas, city owned bars, second walking bridges to the UR) there are 100s of them. But never put a politician on the spot, and ask them the questions they deserve to be asked and challenged to answer.

    One can only assume local reporters are afraid, and/or in awe of local politicians and therefore afraid to ask the tough questions. And they are likely also afraid they may upset the people in the city who elect these clowns year after year to lead city hall and the city schools.

    What ever happened to the press who should be challenging our leaders?

  6. March 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm Animule responds:

    I’m wondering if I’ll live long enough to see the local, exhaustive report on how much taxpayer money is being spent to support our “non-profit” colleges including the University of Rochester. This is above and beyond just showering them with taxpayer gifts like “Collegetown.”

    Also wondering if I’ll live long enough to see an exhaustive financial summary of just how much we are still paying for the ferry, and for High Falls’ collection of mostly empty gin mills. You can add Pier 45 to the list too. For the most part, the D&C won’t touch these stories; they’re too busy with agenda reporting like “Unite Rochester” or “Lean Forward” to deal with real news.

  7. The local news is boring.. sorry if I am offending folks, but it is boring. Period.It is functioning as a dinosaur in the 21st century.

    There is no reason why someone should stand at a teleprompter and read the news. We need shows that engage the viewer where the viewer comments are the news.. engage the viewer in what is presently happening through tweets, emails, phone ins and so forth.This would be the way to go in the internet and cell phone era of communications.

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