At the 2011 Annual AAAS Meeting, I went to a seminar called “Media Unbounded: What Comes Next.” It was a very interesting topic, especially for anyone considering the field of scientific journalism.
Here are some highlights from the session:
1. Audiences are not fleeing traditional news outlets
o Most newspaper audiences are holding steady if you count the internet audience in with the traditional audience
2. Instead, there is a revenue crisis at traditional media outlets – 75% of classified revenue is gone (due to the online success of Craigslist)
3. As a result, newsrooms are getting smaller
o The largest ones are hit the hardest
o Specialized beats are first to go, especially those that are national focused (such as science and education)
4. But there are more news outlets overall (because of proliferation of new media)
5. This means fewer reporters at each news outlet, which means less stories are covered (all news outlets have to cover the same big stories)
6. Therefore, the public square is narrowing
o There are fewer things that we all know (overall we have a shallower knowledge)
o We are editors of our own news feeds (and we tend to skim many articles rather than reading them intently).