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March 18, 2011
Web Tops Print for News Readership
 
If you're not already, get used to dealing with TV news directors and webmasters – they've been shouldering aside your print media contacts. And now, reports Mashable, more people are getting their news, not only from TV, but from the Internet than from newspapers. The papers may still be providing more depth and range, but they're steadily losing eyeballs. 

"As of the end of 2010," says Mashable, "more people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers – and more ad dollars went to online outlets than to newspapers, too." TV news already had the audience lead. 

Mashable cites the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism findings that, as of the end of 2010, "34 percent of respondents said they read news online within the past 24 hours (as opposed to 31 percent who favored newspapers); and a full 41 percent said they get most of their news online, 10 percent more than those who said they got most of their news from a newspaper.

"Of course, the 18-to-29-year-old group overwhelmingly cast their vote with the web; 65% said the Internet was their main news source." 

Rick Edmonds in a Poynter Institute report on the State of the News Media 2011 adds he thought "2010 would be a year of rebound" for newspapers, and that didn't happen. Now they're experimenting with paid online content, re The New York Times, and the digital beat goes on. (It will be interesting to see how strongly this trend continues if web channels begin charging for access to news and can make that stick.)

PR people are going to have to become adjusted to a whole new array of media work styles and deadlines, but you likely already know that. Hope your new media contacts are proving a little less irasicble than some of my old print friends. But their news values and interests are likely to be somewhat different.

The Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism will be reviewing with Poynter the findings from its State of the News Media 2011 report in a webinar Monday, March 21, at 2 p.m. Eastern time.  

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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