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News media: Winners, losers and an imbalance of power


The media landscape is changing, as fewer people turn to print sources for their daily dose of news.

That’s according to the Pew Research Center, which released its assessment of the state of the news media this week.

Meanwhile, tech companies and social media giants are coming under increasing scrutiny for the role they play in disseminating news to consumers.

Here’s a look at the key takeaways from the report.

Newspaper circulation is way down

According to researchers, newspaper circulation last year hit its lowest level since 1940.

Total daily newspaper circulation, print and digital combined, declined 8 percent, while Sunday news circulation fell 9 percent.

Cable news on the rise

Revenues for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, combined, rose 4 percent.

Cable news was the only segment that saw its audience rise last year.

Facebook and Google are big winners

The report showed that revenue from digital ads rose 23 percent in 2018 – now comprising about half of all ad revenue in the U.S.

Half of all display ad revenue – which is a form of digital advertising that includes items running alongside content on news organizations’ websites – went to Facebook and Google, at 40 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Fewer people watch local news

The number of Americans watching local news declined, by 10 percent for mornings and 14 percent for evening news and late night.


News website audience growth stabilized

There was essentially no change between 2017 and 2018 when it comes to unique visitors to websites of either newspapers or digital news sites.

Meanwhile, people were spending less time on websites, overall, citing a tendency to head to social media to get their news fix.

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