FTC STAFF DISCUSSION DRAFTadd ideas of their own. The purpose of this document is precisely to encourage suchadditional analyses and brainstorming.To provide background, staff’s key observations and conclusions to date are asfollows.
The Current State of the News
1. Although many of the issues confronting journalism cut across different newsmedia platforms, such as broadcast television and radio, most of the discussion in thisdocument will use the perspective of newspapers to exemplify the issues facing journalism as a whole. Studies have shown that newspapers typically provide thelargest quantity of original news to consumers over any given period of time. Weinclude within the term “newspapers” online news websites run either by an existingnewspaper or by an online-only news organization. Other sources of news are alsoimportant, of course, and proposals for action should not favor newspapers over othernews platforms.2. Advertising paid for the vast majority of the news produced in the twentiethcentury in the United States. For most newspapers, about 80% of revenues came fromadvertising and 20% came from subscribers. Advertisers paid newspapers (as well asradio and television broadcasters and cable) to bring together audiences to viewadvertisements. As an ancillary benefit, consumers received news about a wide varietyof topics, including important public affairs.3. Newspapers’ revenues from advertising have fallen approximately 45% since2000. For example, classified advertising accounted for $19.6 billion in revenue fornewspapers in 2000, $10.2 billion in 2008, and is estimated to be only $6.0 billion in2009.
4. With the advent of the Internet, advertisers have many more ways in which toreach consumers, including, for example, through a marketer’s own website or throughtopical websites that relate to the products that an advertiser wants to sell (e.g., a soccerblog for soccer equipment). Search engines also provide sites for advertising related toparticular search queries.5. Although some types of online advertising (e.g., advertising targeted to aconsumer’s known interests) can generate greater revenue than other types (e.g., bannerads), the vast supply of online sites for advertising reduces the amount that an online2