The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its annual "State of the News Media" report for 2013. I'll try to take a closer look at some of the components over the next week or two, but here's some highlights from the overview.
Resources for newsrooms continue to decline. Estimated cuts for 2012 put full-time professional news staff numbers under 40,000 in the U.S., the lowest employment level since 1978 (and down 30% from its peak in 2000). This contributed to shifts in news coverage - sports, weather, and traffic reports account for 40% of local news program content. On CNN, the number of produced news packages in 2012 were half that of five years ago. Across the cable news networks, live coverage of news events fell 30%, while interview segments rose 31%. The sole remaining news magazine, Time, cut 5% of its staff earlier this year.
Pew interprets this as resulting in "a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands." In fact, they suggest, this fall has been noticed by news consumers. A recent survey found that 31% of respondents had indicated that they had stopped using a news source because it no longer provided the amount and quality of news they expected and wanted.
Source - The State of The News Media 2013 Report, Pew Research Centers.
Edit - fixed some typos, phrasing (19/3/2013)