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To follow up on this intro piece for the treasure trove of data that Aaron Smith put together for Pew, let's take a look at a few of their graphics, with comments about what they show us about ourselves. [I added the red circles to highlight various points.]

Three-quarters (74%) of internet users went online during the 2008 election to take part in, or get news and information about the 2008 campaign. This represents 55% of the entire adult population, and marks the first time the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that more than half the voting-age population used the internet to connect to the political process during an election cycle.

As you can see, there's a huge drop that we have noted before in newspaper readership, and a big increase in internet viewership for political news, now surpassing radio. The news print line will, of course, continue to drop and the internet line will continue to go up. This has now well-known major implications for the newspaper business model. But, the data in the report really concentrates on the demographic that uses the internet for political news, at least as of 2008.

Not only do young adults rely heavily on the internet (otherwise known as "the future", as in "young adults continue to skew Democratic"), only the 65+ group are heavily into newspapers. Only 20% of adults under 49 listed newspapers as a "most important source". There was little difference between 18-29 and 30-49 year olds.

These days, internet readers aren't passive. 18% of those who read will comment... somewhere. It's not always on blogs; it could be twitter (a tiny fraction in 2008), Facebook, online newspapers, First Read... wherever comments are allowed. However, it helps if you think your comments will be read and interacted with.

More and more people were willing to forward commentary or videos to others. We all had to be seeing increased spam as well as emails from friends that contained the "best of..." that quickly made the rounds. Direct mail (still popular because it's cheap and micro-targeted) was once a powerful tool of right wing foundations and Republican consultants. More recently, the Obama campaign used it to good effect. Now, reaching your network of friends with your personal endorsement that gets the message through spam filters is invaluable.

Naturally, the more you use the internet, the less important to you news print was as an important source. P.S. If you think newspapers are hurting, check out magazines.

None of the above (including commentary on all the other Pew data we didn't cover) is meant to be a "we replace newspapers" post, nor is it meant to suggest that on line sources (which could well be newspapers) are "better". The data simply suggests that political news is shifting away from news print and towards on line sources. That being the case, that's where the journalists will move to.

Six-in-ten internet users went online for news or information about politics in 2008. This represents 44% of all American adults. Nearly one-fifth of the online population got political news on a daily basis during the campaign, as 12% of internet users said they got political news every day and 7% said they did so multiple times over the course of typical day. All told, the overall size of the political news audience has more than doubled since the 2000 elections.

At some point, we'll stop talking about newspapers and we'll start talking about journalism. But, for now, simply note that the younger seekers of information, who skew Democratic with all that implies, are going to be driving this process more and more.

Good, bad, or indifferent, change is coming to the way we get our political news.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 06:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd be interested to see a poll about (5+ / 0-)

    how many people watched the inauguration online. I know at my office, just about everyone was streaming it on their computer, from a variety of websites, resulting in a very strange echo effect since each site had different time delays.

    Twitter: it's not just for Republicans anymore... Follow me at @jameskass

    by ThatsNotFunny on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 06:08:32 AM PDT

  •  The revolution will be tweeted... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unstable Isotope, Bionic, lirtydies

    I read it on Facebook.

    •  TV, however, remains a bane upon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady, FairWinds

      the body politic.

      This is bad, bad news, and conjures up, in my mind at least, recollections of Orwell's dumbed down, brainwashed, and distracted "prols" in "1984."

      The stats show that Americans continue to be addicted to one of the largest disinformation systems known to man.  And until THAT changes, exchanging internet use for newspaper use does not provide much room for hope.

      Television.  The drug of the masses.  The idiot box, made for an illiterate society that cannot think critically about much, and therefore is ripe to be misled and manipulated.

      •  That was what I found most striking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and most troubling about the data.  That TV line went up almost as sharply as the internet line.  But TV news, unlike the internet, is nothing more than few soundbites--attention grabbers.  One can only hope that the majority of those increasingly getting their political news from TV aren't the FOX viewers.  Sadly, I fear they are.  

    •  I'm borrowing your placement to post this (4+ / 0-)

      J-Schools Play Catchup

      He quickly learned that today’s journalism students don’t enroll to hear, in Mr. McGuire’s words, "old newspaper farts telling them that the business is doomed."

      "They know the model is broken," he says. "They think, We’ll just have to fix it." And so he started this semester by outlining an intimidating theme for the course: "How do we pay for journalism?"

      Right now, there may be no other field of education where "I don’t know" is spoken so often...

      At stake is a generation of reporters, and the continued role of journalists as the eyes, ears and questioners for the public.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:14:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dana Milbanks admitted he never reads comments (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bionic, lirtydies, furi kuri, Phil S 33

    until this last week. He seems a bit taken aback by what his readers have had to day. His column is now one I will not waste a comment on.

    Grow Marijuana go to Prison, Torture a Detainee to Death and earn a Medal. No wonder people get high.

    by SmileySam on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 06:15:50 AM PDT

  •  Is it me or does (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, Bionic, furi kuri

    Nothin make DemfromCT more happy than information isde of a poll. EXTENSIVE information that is.

    Between my shoulders is a genius. Between my legs is a penis. It seems I have to get both my minds right...

    by theone718 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 06:32:48 AM PDT

  •  The fact that we can (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, Bionic

    Really push back, if we are united for an idea, and get the attention we need to push for the policies we believe in is something too invaluble to forget. We must continue to be involved and commited to holding O's feet to the fire, he agrees with our ideas, so let's make him implement them.

    Between my shoulders is a genius. Between my legs is a penis. It seems I have to get both my minds right...

    by theone718 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 06:44:01 AM PDT

  •  I guess Dana Milbank slept through Bush/Cheney. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bionic, lirtydies, furi kuri, sully18

    I mean, how else to explain his mystification by the anger expressed by Democrats and the political left?

    Did Dana miss those little things called Iraq and Katrina? Did me overlook the politicization of the incompetent Justice Department, the institutionalization of torture in America's name, the wholesale suppression of scientific evidence on global warming, and corruption on an epic scale? Did he miss the way his own employers helped whitewash or obfuscate Bush/Cheney's crimes and corruptions?

    Yeah. We're still mad.

    Why the hell isn't he?

  •  Oddly, the slow death of magazines is due to over (7+ / 0-)

    -reliance on advertising.  They have so filled the pages with ads that readers are disgusted and refuse to buy them any more.  Ads bring in the money; but too many piss off the public!!  

    •  What's the alternative to ads? (0+ / 0-)

      {the slow death of magazines is due to over-reliance on advertising}

      OK, what's the alternative?

      Give it away, for free?  That's not a viable alternative.

      Charge magazine buyers for the actual cost? Not viable... young people especially want content for free (having been raised on free media like TV and the Internet... which actually are not free, but whose cost were paid for by their parents and presumed to be free).

      Is there an alternative? I don't see it.

      •  How will news reporters earn a living? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        19 April 2009, Austin, Texas

        I jump in here with this post.  There may be others which allude to the problem of "who pays?"

        Obtaining the news, interviews, etc., is an enormously labor intensive, and hence expensive, endeavor.

        Everyone wants free or aggregated news online.  How can/will reporters, whether they be employed, freelance, or whatever be paid for the work?  How can they/he/she get an income stream from their work?

        I add, the young gravitate to the Internet.  That is natural and understandable but one thing they do not fathom, most still being either totally dependent or semi-dependent on external support, is economic reality.  How many of them will go out and work their buns off to obtain and report news and not get paid a dime for it?  And while they are doing that, who supports them?

        What is/will the accountability be?  With main stream media the accountablity is so-so but at least there is the potential of a remedy if the reporting is false or negligent.

        What is the answer going to be?

        I add, much of the most popular stuff online is not making any money.  Youtube.  Dare I say Huffington Post.  She is getting gobs of investment money but will she have a worldwide team of paid reporters?

        Robert in Austin Texas

  •  Newspapers have learned the wrong lesson (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bionic, lirtydies, sully18, uc booker

    Its the "news" part that's important - not the "paper" part.

    They treat the interwebs like some scary competitor that must be destroyed, rather than a beneficial - and far superior - method of information delivery.

    Adapt or die, papers.

    •  The problem of the news media (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, Bionic, sully18

      is a very interesting one, and incredibly important to what we're doing here in terms of trying to build progressive majorities. Has anyone read "Flat Earth News" by Nick Davies? I was thinking of doing a diary about it in the next couple of days; I thought it was very interesting in how it tried to explain how systematic the failure of the media to report accurately was.

      •  alternative sources are beginning to develop (2+ / 0-)

        for example:

        Don't get me wrong; we all need to be careful about how we use the sphere of blogs, owing to the unknown credibility of the authors. But Effect Measure is one I read every day. Responding to today's entry, another credible source, "DemFromCT," offers a link to today's Time Magazine piece by Walter Isaacson, which I might point out is, ironically, available for free. It's a must read, too.

        I realize this column is a departure from my usual style. In a sense, I'm acting as an aggregator of content—and providing some context. I’m also validating DemFromCT and revere as good and reliable sources. I'll continue to point out such sources in future columns—and continue to serve as an aggregator you can trust. (CIDRAP Business Source, February 5, 2009)

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:18:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sort of. (0+ / 0-)

          We're acting as content filters and aggregators, mostly. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's a worthwhile activity. But the traditional media sources still produce a hell of a lot of content, and there are many unreliable filters and aggregators out there. I'd love to see more dedicated web-based journalism, for instance, something I definitely think there's a market for.

          I'm not disagreeing with you that it's a start. But it's only the first step on a very long road to more honest news.

          •  its about journalism, not print (2+ / 0-)

            and wherever journalism exists, it should be supported. Like I do with unions, I support the working journalist (the prima donnas can kiss my ass.)

            But there's plenty of "call a source and verify" that happens on line, even as background and I know I do it even when the name doesn't get posted in the story. There's a ton of opinion/news aggregation, but the point is that there is both.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:32:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  75 Web Readers = 1 Print Reader (Ad Dollars) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm going to reprint a comment I made about a week ago.

      I'd also like to add that newspapers have more readers than ever before.  According to Nielsen Online, the draws about 20M unique users in the US every month.  I'd be willing to bet that ten years ago, the NYT, in aggregate, had a fraction of today's readership.

      Real Reason Newspapers are Dying: CPMs

      Speak to the CFOs of the NYT or the WSJ.

      They'll tell you that they get as much as US$ 40 per CPM on their print edition.  And they get as little as US$ 0.55 cents per CPM on their Web editions.

      For every print reader they lose, they need 75 Web readers to offset the loss.

      How many of you read Politico?  Politico gets over 90% of their revenue comes from their print edition, even though it is only distributed in DC.

      That's why newspapers are dying.  Internet advertising is structurally cheaper than print.  

      Warren Buffet once loved newspapers because they were virtual monopolies.  Indeed, any business with sustained operating margins (EBIT) of over 25% can be loosely defined as a monopoly.

      Today, the NYTimes (flagship paper) has an operating margin of about 5%.  The WSJ, before it was bought by NewsCorp, had an operating margin of anywhere from 4% to 7%.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:41:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pew, pew, pew! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sorry, had to say it...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 06:53:35 AM PDT

  •  Interactivity is key (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bionic, lirtydies, Desert Rose

    A newspaper is just not a living entity.  It has the words and nothing else.  That really hurts when the journalism is not complete - they give one person's opinion and then another, but never what is the truth.  Plus, the news is old by the time you get it.  I've usually already read everything online by the time I get the paper.

    What bothers me is that newspapers keep going down the wrong road.  They keep buying content from the AP, for example, when this is easily gathered online.  Newspapers should focus more on local reporting, which is harder to get online although local blogs are starting to fill this void as well.

    Republicans: Ronald Reagan is no longer their hero, it's now Herbert Hoover.

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:05:47 AM PDT

    •  Well, that's the problem, really. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Unstable Isotope, Bionic, lirtydies

      Newspaper staff have been slashed over the past 30 years or so, and those that are left been asked to fill more and more content. It's the same with television and radio. So these local networks are getting cut, and often it's much easier (and cheaper) just to run what the AP or Reuters is running. The entire news structure is disturbingly narrow.

  •  Hardest-to-read graph I've ever seen! (5+ / 0-)

    Okay, let me see if I've got this straight, Pew:  Light blue is radio.  Really light blue is magazines.  Really, really light blue is internet.

    Would it have killed them to mix it up with some red and green?


    •  just read them down in order (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from the first left hand set of numbers. But yeah, 256 color web friendly... and tough to read. I added a splash of color.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:13:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Way back in 2000 (2+ / 0-)

    I used to frequent a couple of forums. One was dedicated to a TV show and the other was work related.

    The 2000 election was not discussed on either forum and I read both pretty thoroughly. Politics didn't come up at all.

    I fell away from both as I started getting into politics during the 911 Commission proceedings.
    I left the business one because of a certain segment who acted like everyone on the forum was a gungho Repuglican. Or should be. NonAmericans like me and others could get hammered for pointing out some of the egregious things going on. It got rabid.

    I found dKos in the course of trying to figure out if anyone else was perturbed with the mismatch between what was said at the hearings and what was reported (mostly on CNN for me). That was 2003.

    From time to time I'd go back and lurk at both sites and both were seething politically.  Pals on the TV site found themselves on opposite sides.  They even had a political section so on the rest of the site they could pretend politics didn't exist, which is okay when you're playing in TV show related world. From what I could see, it kinda worked.  Some people didn't talk to each other anymore.

    So I'd say, extrapolating from my experience that many people were talking politics online and for most it was on sites unrelated to politics.

    Freedom without responsibility is license and not liberty. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Bionic on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:12:45 AM PDT

    •  we try to keep politics off of flu wiki forum (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bionic, Freshly Squeezed Cynic

      we generally succeed, though it's more than ironic that I'm a co-founder.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:14:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on what you consider politics. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bionic, lirtydies

        Isn't trying to raise awareness of new strains of flu an inherently political act?

        I'm not trying to get at you, just one of those types who generally sees political aspects to any collective endeavour.

        •  that's fine (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Freshly Squeezed Cynic

          activism is fine, to a point.

          Just don't praise a D or blast an R. Or vice versa. very sensitive topic. People don';t want to talk about which rep would do a better job, they're all bad. Continuous tea party.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:21:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I was shocked (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        At how much the TV site was discussing politics.
        I'd just slipped away from it because of time constraints so it was very surprising to see.

        I don't think the Bush v Gore situation was mentioned at all.

        Bush got plenty of people, nonpolitical types you might say, furious.

        Some uniter, eh?  Somewhere the gods laughed.

        Freedom without responsibility is license and not liberty. Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by Bionic on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:18:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That's a huge jump (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While it may be true, that's a huge jump in reasoning you made:

    As you can see, there's a huge drop that we have noted before in newspaper readership [about election news] ... The news print line will, of course, continue to drop and the internet line will continue to go up.

    In this day and age, it makes little sense for every single newspaper to pay for someone to follow the candidates around the country (the candidates don't provide this service for free), i.e., fewer people are reading them to get election news. That's pretty elementary.

    But it doesn't correlate to local news. More people get that from newspapers. Period. That's the future of most media: specificity, not generality, and with advertising to match.

    •  the comment and post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Freshly Squeezed Cynic

      are about election news, and there's plenty of data to back up the comment, which also happens to be true for papers in general.

      As far as local news goes, it's the beat reporter that will be missed (planning and zoning meetings, school boards, etc.) but it's the beat reporter that is already being cut. That's happening now. pretending that that's the model of the future is just wrong.

      2009 total: 8,236+ jobs
      Layoffs and buyouts at U.S. newspapers in 2009

      And by the way, most people get their news from local tv.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:40:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  btw... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Freshly Squeezed Cynic

        political news on tv: even local tv is down, and the networks are more down

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:45:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Local news needs a lot of reporters to cover it, and a lot of time to maintain contacts, dig up stories, verify facts. This all costs money and it is no surprise that, after foreign news, it's often local news that is cut in an effort to save costs.

        There are a lot of cases in Britain of local newspapers becoming little more than recycling centres for PR puff pieces, and local newspapers taking stories from the wires about the very areas they are meant to be covering. It's ridiculous.

  •  TV news might not be far behind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The graph showing the steep decline by age in who gets their political news from TV was also interesting; it may be a function of the "Democratic-skewing young people" turning off to Fox News, though I don't think that alone explains it . . . something about Don Henley and "bubble-headed bleach-blondes," maybe -

    Settle down and take a chill pill. Please.

    by mississippi scott on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:32:55 AM PDT

  •  dangerous (0+ / 0-)

    It used to be politics was about how voters reacted to the news--now it's becoming how they react to the sites they visit--or watch on cable.  This is easily manipulable-- and that's a big problem.  We've all gotten hysterical emails about the Muslim Obama--this will increase.  I don't find this an encouraging development.

  •  Creative Destruction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Newspapers developed as a popular (as opposed to elite) medium in the 19th Century due to evolving technology, specifically application of steam power to mechanize printing.   This gave rise to concentration in the industry due to economies of scale.  Owners as large capitalists naturally adopted pro-capitalist editorial policies.  (e.g. Rupert Murdoch and Lord Black)

    This also created a journalistic filter between reality and readership.  Thus "the Village"  The beauty of the Internet is that it removes the filter.  that is also the danger since there is no filter.  Hence the need for credible sources.  That is the really important function of a news organization.

    The Internet is an example of what Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction" by a new technology.  News organizations need to expend their efforts to develop a new economic model of funding journalism and not worry about the obsolete technology of the printing press.  

    There are no atheists in foxholes and no libertarians in financial crises. - Jeff Frankel

    by DrJohnB on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:55:16 AM PDT

  •  You'd think they'd do better (0+ / 0-)

    knowing it was an internet publication, they're allowed to use more than 2 colors.  Some (many) of those graphs are just hard to make out, as telling line A from line B can be difficult.

    It's not 1985 any more - we have more than 16 colors!

    Those who do not study history should not be permitted to make it.

    by trumpeter on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:06:54 AM PDT

  •  Since newspapers routinely lie about the numbers (0+ / 0-)

    of people in a crowd that turn out to protest government policies, such as the Iraq invasion by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the papers have proved that their "analysis" is literally not worth the paper it's printed on. Let them contemplate the fate of the buggywhip.

  •  False dichotomy (2+ / 0-)

    Talking about newspapers vs the Net, or newspapers vs TV vs Cable vs the Net... these create false dichotomies... The issue is NOT newspapers vs the Net, or those other stated conflicts.

    The real issues are:
    o Under the new communication regimes, are enough resources being devoted to first line investigation and reporting, or not?
    o Are the results of  first line/investigative journalism being communicated on a mass basis?

    If not enough resources are devoted to real investigation and reporting, then it doesn't matter where people get their news... because they wouldn't be getting "real" news.

  •  I've Blogged About This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've blogged about this article:

    Also, I wanted to note that if you look at the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet research you'll find some supplimentary information (abet old information (2006)) regarding the internet and blogs and elections

  •  but which is more politically influential? radio! (0+ / 0-)

    by far. luckily it's dropping but the monopoly still needs breaking up.

    the other mediums are more democratic  as a whole, no matter how corporatized.

    only radio operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP think tanks, capable of coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition that can be used to dominate message and politics in large areas of the country.

    it intimidates media and politicians like no other medium. there are no bigger political correctness cops and censors-by-threat than limbaugh and hannity and sons, visually reinforced later in the day by fox and other lazy trad media elements always ready to feed off their prechewed, established, talking points and framing, already pounded into the earholes of a crowd the size of the one that voted for obama.

    and no it's not OK to ignore it, it is the main reason we're in this mess.

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:14:42 AM PDT

  •  Not sure AP's management (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (among others) will understand the visuals without a veteran interpreter.  Newspapers focused their strategic plan/model on looking at a singular overwhelming source of revenue.  The whole put your eggs in one basket theory must be part of certain post graduate work.  

    Newspapers have lost their ability to be a brand locally than shooting for national coverage. All politics is local is an aphorism for a reason.

    Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up... Mind Sorbet

    by Pithy Cherub on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 10:34:53 AM PDT

  •  TV & Cable "News" Shows Killing Newspapers? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I didn't read the whole thing.  The graphic on the rise and decline of various sources of news (radio, internet, newspapes, television) is fascinating.

    What strikes me about it is not only the dramatic decline in newspaper readership and equally dramatic increase in the use of the Internet as a source of news, but the finding that television is the medium through which the overwhelming majority of Americans get their news (ranging between 70 and 80% of respondents, as I glance at the graphic).

    I never watch television. The idea that I would get any "news" from a television report is almost laughable.  On the other hand, I regularly subscribe to 3 newspapers, read several, including European newspapers, on line, and get a lot of news from places like TPM and Kos.

    Why don't I watch television "news"?  Because most of it is crap.  Add to that the outrageous manipulation of the facts and important events by the likes of Fox, and I don't trust anything on the tube.

    There is a barely concealed rage in the mainstream newspapers about what the Internet has done to their readership (and the decline in advertising). Fair enough.

    But I wonder if the columnists and editorialists have not misdiagnosed the problem.  If I'm any guide, people who like the internet for news also like newspapers and read them critically.  But instead of exposing the outrageous falsehoods passing for news on cable "news" outlets (on everything from the 2000 election, the invasion of Iraq, the competence of the Bush administration, globalization, Wall Street greed, and the likelihood that services could replace manufacturing as the nation's economic lifeblood) major newspapers went along with transparent lies.  

    Who pumped up "shock and awe" more than the New York Times and the Washington Post?  Why is it that anyone who spent five minutes thinking about the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq realized there was no real evidence apart from fear-mongering, but that logic escaped most newspaper reporters and editorial boards?

    I think there's a distinct possibility that newspaper readership has declined not due to the "internets," but because a lot of people have decided that there isn't really a dime's worth of difference between what they read in the paper and what they see on the screen.  If that's right, editorial boards have only themselves to blame for declining readership.  Instead of alerting the public to the dangers of demagogues on the tube, the news business, which turned itself into a profit center 20 years ago even on the Big Three networks,  went along for the ride.

  •  Mostly, Internet news = Newspaper news (1+ / 0-)

    I fear too many of us misunderstand what's going on here.

    Tho we may read news online rather than in dead tree editions, most of the news most of us get on the Internet comes from the newspapers.

    Look at the sources of the stories you read in your news aggregator, whether it's MSN or Yahoo or GoogleNews or whatever.  Some of it comes from Internet-based reporting, but not much.  Nine out of ten times, it's the Associated Press (newspapers) or the New York Times (newspapers) or even stories developed by reporters at some specific newspaper or magazine.

    That's true for TV and radio news as well.  Newspaper do most of the heavy lifting in our news media system.

    The newspapers are in trouble.  A lot of that is because they have been stupid and blind and self-righteous, but in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't change the situation.

    The newspapers are in trouble.  We're in trouble.


    "The enemy is not conservatism. The enemy is not liberalism. The enemy is bu**sh**." --Lars-Eric Nelson (r.i.p.)

    by DFLer on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 12:22:02 PM PDT

    •  as I noted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emptywheel, CherryTheTart

      The data simply suggests that political news is shifting away from news print and towards on line sources.

      but there's always a tendency to diminish the actual journalism done by people like this:

      The new information on the number of waterboarding episodes came out over the weekend when a number of bloggers, including Marcy Wheeler of the blog emptywheel, discovered it in the May 30, 2005, memo.

      So says the NY Times.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 10:07:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and yes, I am proud (0+ / 0-)

        of my friend, Marcy.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 10:10:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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