Web news officially passes newspapers in popularity

newsThe Pew Research Center recently revealed that newspapers have officially been replaced by digital news. Physical publications saw sagging numbers when it came to revenue, readers, and employment. The project found that 46 percent of participants said they use the Internet for their news needs at least three times a week, compared to the 40 percent of traditionalists who use newspapers.

But online news didn’t dominate the field. Pew also found that local television channels were the most popular news source, and 50 percent of people said it was their most preferred medium. Pew also found that many Americans are foregoing larger screens altogether and opting for news via their mobile phones. And while almost half use a phone for this purpose, only one in 10 use a specific app – and in most cases, these are free apps.

And of course, whenever our eyes are fixated is where advertisers will put their money. For the first time, online advertising also brought in more money than print ads – a lot more. It’s no secret that advertising online is becoming big business – but over 2010, online advertising revenue grew 13.9 percent and claimed $25.8 billion.

Where there’s money there are jobs. Readership and ad dollars weren’t the only things print papers lost in 2010: Newsrooms for physical, subscription newspapers are a fraction of the size they were 10 years ago. Scary? Apparently not. Most interviewed participants revealed this didn’t worry them, although the minority said it would impact them in some way.

And with all the variety of news mediums, Pew did find there is one sector that hasn’t been used to its full potential. “Local news remains the vast untapped territory…While local has been the area of greatest ferment for nonprofit startups…no one has yet cracked the code for how to produce local news effectively at a sustainable level.” Mobile has become a popular platform for reaching for local news and information, and Pew notes that with the proliferation of tablets should only see this increase.

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