The Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its State of the News Media 2006
report, and boy, does it have a lot to say.
Here are a few of the general statements:Blogs:
"But contrary to the charge that the blogosphere is purely parasitic, we also found new topics here, and new angles on old ones. Indeed, the blogs were generally less concerned than many traditional journalists with the latest breaking news, and more focused on long-term issues. Yet there was little here that a journalist would call reporting or even sourcing. Only 1% of the posts this day involved a blogger doing an interview, and only another 5% involved some other kind of original research, such as examining documents....It is not citizen journalism in any traditional sense, but something closer to stylized citizen media forum, often with an insider's tone and its own nomenclature."Cable news:
"The reporting, perhaps because of the time to fill rather than despite it, was shallower by our indicators of any national media studied."Network TV:
"The contrast between the network nightly and morning news is so striking that the term network TV news almost seems a misnomer. It makes more sense to talk about nightly news versus morning. The three evening newscasts were virtually identical to each other and very different form their network siblings in the morning."Newspapers:
"This is the medium that is covering the most topics, has the deepest sourcing, explored the most angles in stories and for now is supplying most of the content for the Internet...Looming, as readers inevitably shift to acquiring their news online, is the question of what happens to the more complete reporting that additional time affords. And how many boots will be left on the ground if the print editions that pay the bills continue to shrink."Local TV:
"...focused on what news managers apparently thought people could use, traffic and weather, and what they were worried about, accidents and crime...on average, local TV news stories had the shallowest sourcing and explored the fewest angles of events covered of any medium studied except local radio."
The most interesting part of the Project for Excellence's report happens to be a survey, termed A Day in the Life of the News
, of all news coverage that occurred on one specific day ֠May 11, 2005 ֠designed to present a stand-alone picture of the American news media.