Measuring the News Media's Effectiveness

Chinni, Dante
June 2004
Nieman Reports;Summer2004, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p98
Project for Excellence in Journalism released The State of the News Media 2004 report which provided a comprehensive look at the U.S. news media from a variety of angles. Journalism is in the middle of an epochal change, according to the report, and how it will end up is not yet clear. But in 2004, some clear trends are visible. Eight major ones define where journalism is headed across all the media studied. And the identified trends are converging to reshape the news landscape. A growing number of news outlets are chasing relatively static or even shrinking audiences for news. Much of the new investment in journalism is in disseminating the news, not in collecting it. In many parts of the news media, the raw elements of news are increasingly shown as the end product. Journalistic standards vary even inside a single news organization. Without investing in building new audiences, the long-term outlook for many traditional news outlets appears problematic. Convergence seems more inevitable and potentially less threatening to journalists than it might have seemed a few years ago. Those who would manipulate the press and public appear to be gaining leverage over journalists who cover them.


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