Pew Report Shows Cable News Ratings Down But NPR Audience Grows

The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its 2011 “State of the Media” report, showing that cable news ratings took a dip across all networks even while profits and revenues were healthy. In addition, and unsurprisingly, network news audiences continued their downward turn.

The report takes note of all of the staff cuts that media outlets have made, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by publicists charged with lots of media relations. PEJ writes that newspaper newsrooms are 30 percent smaller today than they were in 2000. (And newspapers are still experiencing revenue strains.)

The report also notes that audiences are depending more on aggregators, social networks, and mobile devices and gadgets to gather news. “And the move to mobile is only likely to grow,” the report says. “By January 2011, 7 percent of Americans reported owning some kind of electronic tablet. That was nearly double the number just four months earlier.”

And as Mashable notes, 34 percent of the respondents to a Poynter Institute study gather their news online, exceeding the number reading newspapers, and 65 percent of those 18-to-29 years old said the Web is their primary news source.

Finally, and very interesting, as my colleague, GalleyCat’s Jason Boog notes on today’s Morning Media Menu, NPR’s audience grew three percent in 2010 , reaching 27.2 million listeners each week. The New York Times discusses the impact that recent controversies could have. The story says:

But the bias argument misses the point. The fact that NPR is a dot-org and not a dot-com has a lot to do with its success. In cities all over the country, regional newspapers and commercial radio stations have, in many instances, been forced to cut their reporting ambitions in half. Even the better, bigger papers can’t cover all the news of the world, or even the country at large, and that’s where NPR comes in.