Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tracking the Media Evolution

For everyone who works with journalists, here are some useful links that can help you keep up with the scary – especially to them – changes taking place in their world. I try to check them regularly.

The Newspaper Death Watch Blog is just what it says – a running scorecard of newspapers that have folded, those on the verge, those that have had to change their basic model (now mainly digital, no home delivery, etc.). It reminds us of the pressures that traditional journalists are facing, and of the traumatic changes taking place in most newspapers.

Poynter Online is a daily report on journalism and the media produced by Jim Romenesko at the Poynter Institute in Florida. It’s one of the most authoritative sources for information about business and journalistic developments taking place in the traditional media.

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism tracks public attitudes toward traditional and digital media from a variety of angles – credibility, accuracy, partisanship, general usefulness. A recent survey found that 19% of Internet users now use Twitter or similar services – up from only 11% as recently as April. This chart shows an important insight from a recent Pew study. More people may be getting their information from new media, but at least for important local news, the information still originates from newspapers and the traditional media. Without them, who will dig up the original story?

And for a particularly amazing site, check this out: every morning the Newseum posts the front pages of 837 newspapers around the country and the world. We can compare the coverage of major issues by essentially every newspaper that exists, and we can monitor the changes taking place in their layouts and story emphasis over time. Maybe best of all, we can check out Page 1 of the New York Post every morning. (The Newseum has become one of Washington’s must-see attractions, in its new location near the Capitol Building – especially for anyone involved with journalists and the media.)

- Potomac Communications Group

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