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.


The New Mobile News

Huge name companies including NBC, Fox and Gannett Co. Inc. are combining to form a new national mobile content service.

They are using the current broadcast spectrum but this agreement allows the companies involved to provide mobile content to those who may not have originally able to access all these companies content. The services that are available to mobile phone users now are live and on-demand video, local and national news from print and electronic sources and sports and entertainment programming.

The spectrum these companies are using is Fox, NBC and Telemundo and ION. The other nine companies providing content will be Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Gannet Co. Inc., Hearst Television Inc., Media General Inc., Meredith Corp., Post-Newsweek Stations Inc. and Raycom Media.

By joining together these companies will allow them to offer mobile video and and print news content to over 150 million people. The deal helps fulfill the Federal Communication Commission's initiative to reduce congestion on the nation's wireless broadband networks while offering the same amount of content to customers.


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