Newspaper ad revenues continue to sink, but few Americans seem to be noticing, according to survey results released by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, as part of its “State of the News Media 2013” study. Asked if they had heard about news organizations’ financial problems (not limited to newspapers), 36% of respondents said they had heard “nothing at all,” and an additional 24% said only “a little.” But a significant proportion have felt changes in the way news is reported.
In fact, fully 31% of respondents reported having stopped turning to a particular news outlet because they felt it was no longer providing them with the news and information they were accustomed to getting. And more than one-third of respondents who recognize that the industry is faced with financial problems linked those difficulties to the media’s ability to adequately cover local, national, or international news. Not surprisingly, those who made that link were more likely to report having abandoned an outlet than those who did not see the financial impact on reporting.
- News consumers who have left an outlet are more likely to be male, wealthier, older, and Republican or Independent.
- Among those who have walked away, 61% said it was because the stories are less complete (quality), compared to just 24% who said it was because there are fewer stories (quantity).
- Americans aged 65 and older (46%), the college-educated (54%), those with income of $75,000 or more (50%) and those in the Northeast (47%) are the most likely of their respective groups to have heard “a lot” or “some” a bout the financial problems of news organizations.
About the Data: The PSRAI January Week 4 and February Week 1 2013 Omnibus Polls obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,009 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (1,003) and cell phone (1,006, including 512 without a landline phone). The surveys were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from January 24 to 27 and February 7 to 10, 2013. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is Â± 2.5 percentage points.