17 March 2009

New Business Model Is PEJ Focus

The state of journalism in all its forms is laid bare in this year’s annual report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

An introduction to The State of the News Media 2009 highlights the main area of concern making its presence felt time and time again throughout the extensive study – “the revenue problem”.

This is attributed to two things that happened during the course of 2008:

“First, the hastening audience migration to the Web means the news industry has to reinvent itself sooner than it thought - even if most of those people are going to traditional news destinations.

“At least in the short run, a bigger online audience has worsened things for legacy news sites, not helped them.”

Secondly, and unsurprisingly, it’s the effect of the global economic downturn and its consequence for journalism:

“The numbers are only guesses, but executives estimate that the recession at least doubled the revenue losses in the news industry in 2008, perhaps more in network television.

“Even more important, it swamped most of the efforts at finding new sources of revenue.

“In trying to reinvent the business, 2008 may have been a lost year, and 2009 threatens to be the same.”

This sixth edition of the annual report is available online and includes a study of citizen media websites, a section devoted to coverage of the presidential election, content analysis of the news of 2008 and features on new revenue models.

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