Report: Traditional News Losing Revenue, Trust


The traditional or "mainstream" news media has a problem---and it's not their endless battle with President Trump, who has repeatedly labeled many of them as "fake news." Perhaps that fake news is coming home to roost, because a new report shows traditional news outlets continue to lose revenue to digital competitors, while public trust in news erodes. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism's annual Digital News Report finds that a majority of the public is still unwilling to pay for news content, with most preferring to spend their money on entertainment options like Netflix or Spotify. Even among those who do pay for news subscriptions, many have what the report terms "subscription fatigue," while others only subscribe for things like cooking, travel or crossword puzzles.

Some media outlets are scrambling to keep up with all the digital giants like Facebook and YouTube, but political analyst and host Debbie Georgatos says this is just the free market at work. "Supply of news has increased because of social media, and everybody and their brother now has a blog and a podcast, and has something they put out," she tells KTRH. "This increase in supply will cause the market to drain out people who just aren't adding particular value to the public."

Overall, Georgatos believes this increased pressure and competition will be good for the public because it will force news outlets to do a better job of serving the market, or they will be left behind. "There are a lot of people online (posing as news outlets) simply offering blather about how much they dislike one candidate or do like someone else," says Georgatos. "People recognize bias more than ever because they have so many things to choose from, and (consumers) really resent when someone tries to claim to be presenting journalism, when they are really presenting what should be characterized as commentary."


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