What does the Pew Study really show?

I just read Nick Carr’s blog on the state of Online News following the Pew Study that came out this week. To cut a fine story short he effectively says that while people have moved to getting their news online they are not necessarily:

a) consuming more news – indeed he suggests that the decline in traditional media consumption is being matched to a degree in the online world
b) about to kill off traditional media – his view from the Pew study is that while this media is declining it is more often than not read by those that consume online news. In other words it will only really die off if everyone stops reading news altogether which seems unlikely.

His piece ends by saying that: “The report is not good news for newspapers, but it does show that the reports of their imminent death have been exaggerated. The real division is not between the audience for online news and the audience for traditional news – they are the same audience. The real division is between the people who are interested in the news and the people who couldn’t care less. In fact, it looks very much like online news media are now merging with traditional news media, as the two come together in a symbiotic relationship to serve the same set of customers. They are not competing with each other so much as they are competing together against nonconsumption.”

I would contend, as I pointed out yesterday in my piece about YouTube, that what the world wants is for the Internet to enable a whole new way to get content. What Online news outlets have done so far is simply ‘automate’ the delivery of content. Perhaps this is why after an initial surge in viewing of online news it too is starting to flatten off and potentially decline. My contention is that this is because there is a distinct lack of innovation taking place in online media (what a generalization I know). Maybe this is what the Pew study is really showing…

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22 Comments on “What does the Pew Study really show?”

  1. Wadds Tech PR Blog says:

    I think the real change in news consumption with the advent of the internet is our ability to choose our own news agenda and choose how much we want to read about it. Don’t get me wrong, the big news organisations such as BBC are still extremely popular but with the vast ocean of information available on the internet we can choose what we want to read about. However, sorry to repeat an old argument, but traditional media still has the advantage of its popularity and accessibility, where every builder can take the information on site and it has the ability to set the news agenda for people around the office to talk about. I see a market for traditional print and online news to co-exist although I do think that they will have to target different markets and differentiate themselves more than they have done so far.

  2. Learn stock trading says:

    Informative blog. Thanks.

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  3. Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen says:

    have you started to read digg.com? If not then think of it as YouTube for news.

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  5. Drew B's take on tech PR says:

    Tim, if you like YouTube and Digg, check out Popurls.com. (no, it’s not a client!)

    One place for all the web’s social media feeds. Bliss.

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  7. Learn stock trading says:

    Good info. Thanks.

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    An interesting read…

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  9. TradingCourses says:

    Great blog.

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