STUDY (and not-so-Breaking-News): Digital Reporting On the Rise


Yes, behind every online breaking news report is a homeless-looking hipster pushing the buttons.

Everyone, say it with me: “Digital Native News.

ICYMI: This is the future of journalism. Ask any reporter in print, broadcast, or online (obviously, there), and they will tell you the same thing. And although many journalists are unfortunately getting demotions and pink slips in their annual reviews, the Pew Research Center came out with this report about “The Growth in Digital Reporting.”

And the infographic after the jump is worth printing and pasting on your bulletin board.

One of the leading takeaways from this study is that most Americans now get their news through a digital platform, including 82 percent using their desktop or laptop and 54 percent saying they get news from their mobile device. It is the dawn of the digital age. Scratch that: It’s high noon. This is the future and the light is upon the second screen.

If news outlets (and flacks, for that matter) don’t learn to embrace the ubiquitous “second screen,” they will all get left behind and be forced to close up shop. This is also why the paywall is suffering its consequences. Look at my hometown paper, The Dallas Morning NewsThis proud tradition of journalism in North Texas has determined something most publishers are still learning — people will not pay for content when they can get it everywhere else. The payment is for the online or user experience (UX, to those not in the know).

This is why there is a premium website and a “freemium” website, and many others are following suit. News websites are not necessarily about the content — although they most definitely should be — they thrive off shares, personalized links, social capital, and links that take users back to the website. This is the state of affairs because digital has squatter rights in the state as it is. Another study came out by the cracked minds from Inkhouse Media & Marketing, and GMI.

Together, they came up with some interesting statistics on news consumption:

  • TV is the big winner. Almost three quarters of Americans (73 percent) prefer to get their news from television, which also ranks first among the most trusted news outlets. Social media (23 percent) is the fifth preferred news outlet, behind news websites (52 percent), print magazines and newspapers (36 percent) and even radio (25 percent).
  • Americans still read articles (a lot). More than half of Americans (60 percent) read or watch the news every day, at an average of three to 10 news stories a day. Despite vocal debates about the detriment of social media on our ability to focus, 45 percent of Americans still prefer to read an entire article to just the headlines.
  • No one wants to pay for online news. Eighty-six percent of respondents believe that mobile and online news should be free. Only 10 percent of Americans pay for an online news subscription, but more than half (56 percent) pay for a print subscription.
  • Americans prefer to share news via email, not social media. Email edged out social media as the preferred way to share articles (34 percent versus 29 percent).
  • Press releases are trusted. Of company-generated news, respondents report trusting press releases the most (33 percent)

While you consider where you get your news and the experience that is involved, consider this genius infographic as well.