Who Really Reports The News?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In today's changing media, who really reports the news? Every morning when we wake up, we are positive the paper will be on our doorsteps full of news. When we turn on the evening news, we are sure there will be something to report. Where does it really come from?

If newspapers were to die, how would it affect our media landscape? Would that change what our communities know and seek to find out everyday? What is taking up the slack for the decreasing number of people who get their news from TV, print, and radio?

According to journalism.org and the Pew Research Center's project for excellence in Journalism, the answer is a moving target. Actually the tracking and the pursuit are nearly impossible. Newspapers are still the overwhelming choice as a traditional media vehicle inwhich audiences are getting their news. The study shows that eight out of ten news stories are repackaged or repeated from previously published information. Of the stories that were new, 95% came from traditional media.

Some of the findings include:

1. Of the 53 different news outlets, 12 did not produce any new or local content.

2. Of the six major new threads studied, only 17% actually contained new news content.

3. General interest newspapers only produced half of that.

4. Almost half of the newspaper stories studied were online rather than print.

5. 63% of new stories were initiated by the government officials.

Of the media vehicles, TV news was the most locally focused, and 80% of straight news accounts were written by local staffers.

What does all of this mean? When we look to our papers, TV news anchors and radio personalities, we assume they are reporting the news first. As time passes, it seems like every bit of "news" we absorb, isn't really "new" after all.


Katelyn Chamberlin April 25, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

I found it shocking that 63% of news stories are initiated by the government. That really goes to show how much the government is in our lives. They aren't supposed to control our media, yet they responsible for over half the news we are exposed too.

Anonymous,  April 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM  

My first reaction is that very statistic - 63% of news is initiated by the government. This information alone would help support the philosophy or approach to government funded media. Clearly they already control much of what we learn and put their own slant on things. Would it really be that different if they funded media? At least we would potential get more information rather than constant reductions in the media industry.

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