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Who Uses the News and How

Friday, November 13, 2009
10:30 AM

Lee Rainie (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
46% of adults use internet
5% with broadband at home
50% own a cell phone
0% connect to internet wirelessly
<10% had webmail accounts
Slow, stationary connections built around my computer
79% of adults use internet
63% w/ broadband at home
85% own cell phone
56% connect wirelessly
>2/3 use "cloud"
Fast, mobile connections built around outside servers and store
1. It's shrinking : 19% get no news on avg. day
2. Spending less time with news - 8 min drop since 1994 (across all ages)
3. It's losing faith in news organizations
4. It's shifting platforms: the internet rises, especially among broadband users
1) Internet crossed above newspapers in 08-09 as primary sources of national and international news (still barely more than half size of TV)
5. It's segmenting - different people use different platforms
6. It's grazing: news becomes all-day staple
7. 29% on mobile
8. It's customizing - "Daily me" and "Daily us" - about half of internet users
9. It's polarizing - sources based on ideological alignment
10. It's blending platforms
11. It's becoming participatory
12. It's becoming social - networks as news filters, news assessors, meaning makers, audience
1) 10% of those with social networking profiles get news through those sites


Steven Dennen (VP of ComSore)
Users more active, but less "engaged" while the "head" maintains its share of voice vs the "tail"
News audiences growing, but slower than the market, and skewing older
Search, virality, and distribution important for increased engagement
Opportunities for growing online ad revenue
Grouth up year-over-year, but minutes/visit and pages/visit are down
Composition of top 100 in terms of minutes/page share is shifting
9% growth year/year for newspaper sites, 14% for news/info category; blogs +24%
But pages/visitor is down (-3% for newspaper, -14% for news/info, +10% for blogs)
Declines in overal category shares of PVs and minutes while blogs and classifieds increasing
"online only" newspaper consumers has grown 35%
However, audience consuming both has declined 13%, while print only segment has declined 18%
The Neither segment has grown 28%
31% of internet users do not get news from newspapers (print or online), up from 25% last year

Embracing the power of the consumer-driven internet
144 million US click-thrus for Newspaper sites fro mthe top 5 search engines
62% from Google
98% of click-thrus come from organic listings
Most of the traffic coming through search likely to be 1-page view results
Top US newspaper gets 32% of its traffic from search, top e-mail sites, FB and the Yahoo! homepage
Content syndication
Viral distribution
10.5% reach (from PC)
1073% UV growth since last september
Unlike other forms of media, social media results in average consumption increasing as audience size grows
Twitter audience is skewing younger vs earlier this year (early adopters were P 35-64)

Display advertising
News/info category accounts for 5.5% of all ad-supported page views, 6.2% of display ad impressions, and 11.6% of display ad spend
Slightly more ads per page than average

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News/info category accounts for 5.5% of all ad-supported page views, 6.2% of display ad impressions, and 11.6% of display ad spend
Slightly more ads per page than average
Higher CPMs compared to other categories
Comparison of three sites w/ comparable UV and ads per page
Substantial difference in impressions comes from pages per UV
TV news site is getting nearly 3x the number of pages per UV as the newspaper site
To put in context, a pay-only model for 1/4 the newspaper site's audience at $1.00 per month would double revenue
How can news sites increase online ad revenue
Increase engagement
More video content
Surface channels for producing and consuming UGC
Distribution: RSS + Widgets
Better cross-romotion of content
Personalization of content
More exclusive content - analysis over breaking news
Increase CPMs
Video yields higher CPMs than display
Reduce dependence on ad nets to sell remnant inventory at reduced rates
Demonstrate the value of your audience to advertisers (e.g., older, higher income demos)
Enable advertisers to easily execute more targeted ad buys
Demonstrate the effectiveness of your site for advertisers to improve brand perception or drive action

Jay Rosen (NYU)
First paid model for news was like British/Amsterdam merchants hiring informants in Venice to exclusively report on going-ons
Source of authority: "I was there, you were not, let me tell you about it"
Prior to founding of London Times in 18th century, rise of the Public and public opinion
Conference title should have been "Who will subsidize the messenger"
Entertainment -e.g., tabloids
Related businesses
Unrelated businesses - e.g., WaPo and Kaplan
Most passionate users
Clever spinoff business - e.g., TechDirt's Insight community
Reputational capitol - esp. for bloggers, who get paid for speaking or consulting as a result of their expertise
Events & Performance - e.g., get people to pay for you to talk about what you know
Combinations of all of the above
Instead of paying messengers, make the data itself transparent and eliminate the need altogether
We shouldn't be paying messengers who are providing redundant services
31 teams sent reporters to World Series
In current system, no way to get rid of messengers who aren't fulfilling their duty
Church of the Savvy - e.g., David Gregory ("we asked all the questions, we poked, we prodded" in run-up to Iraq war)
Rediscover self-informing public
Education and training of journalists has gone up over last three decades
And yet faith in Trust of journalism is falling
What is causing this paradox?

Tom Rosenstiel (Director, Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism)
One part of media/journalism is growing: discussion universe
Healthier, more democratic, more vivid
Reporting universe of media is shrinking
Problems vary by media
Revenue is shrinking
News executives projecting that in 5 years, all classified ads will be gone
Not an audience problem
Audience is disappearing
Advertising mechanism still works very nicely (but fewer are watching)
No sustainable revenue model
All newsrooms will be niche newsrooms
Do what you do best, borrow the rest
Journalism shifting from being a product (our stuff) to being a service (how can we help you)
Pushing content out instead of pull users in
While media is making it more participatory, he does not feel it is turning people into citizen journalists en masse
Instead becoming our own editors, aggregators
Coverage becoming more immediate, heavier focus on breaking news
Will the values of the old newsroom (independence, verification, commitment to audience first) translate to new media?
Can the Wiki culture (post-publication verification and discussion) succeed the notions of professionalists?
Do we need this to be full-time? If so, how will it be funded?
20th-century model: journalist as gatekeeper
Embedded in this role were several functions which we want to survive:
Authenticator - what of the things we are hearing are true or not true
Sense-maker - facts were commodity, but we needed someone to make order and sense of them all
Smart aggregator - shift through things from other places on our behalf

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Sense-maker - facts were commodity, but we needed someone to make order and sense of them all
Smart aggregator - shift through things from other places on our behalf
Forum leader
Witness - bear witness, show up at meetings; do we need professionals to do that? Maybe yes, maybe no
Journalism industry probably not going to fix this on their own

Huge unmet demand for news not provided by existing news sources (including so-called "new media")
e.g., neighborhood news; explanations of "the news"; synthesize news in storyteller role

News organizations shouldn't fool themselves into thinking they are actually blanket covering their communities
Instill sense of volunteerism in community for people to take responsibility of posting events they are involved in
Rosenstiel: Is video-taping a meeting really sufficient?
Rosen: no, but better than nothing

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