Study finds news readers shift to Internet

More people say they get their news from the Internet than from newspapers, according to a survey by the Poynter Institute and other organizations. Some 41% of readers say they get most of their news online, besting newspapers as primary sources by more than 10%.

Ad dollars are following the eyes. “Last year marked the first time online advertising outpaced newspaper advertising,” Jolie O’Dell reports at Mashable.

Poynter Print-and-Online-Advertising-Revenues-Fall-in-2010The numbers come from the State of the News Media 2011, the eighth edition of an annual report on the health and status of American journalism. The survey results are drawn from a sampling of more than 2,000 adults in January 2010. The report was produced by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and funded by the Pew Research Center.

The study finds the state of newspapers, and journalism by proxy, is more problematic than other media. In an essay based on study results a trio of writers — Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute and Emily Guskin and Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism — predict cultural and economic shifts will continue to batter the medium.

Last year, as other media rallied, advertising revenues at newspaper organizations fell by more than 6% — that after a recession-led drop of 26% in 2009. Print circulation declined by 5% daily. That means more job cuts in newsrooms, which the study estimates have shrunk by 30% in the last 10 years. Despite the declines profit margins remain around 5%.

Unfortunately for those organizations, the survey found newspapers still haven’t discovered how to generate revenue from digital initiatives. Ad revenue increasingly comes from independent networks, aggregators such as Google and social networks such as Facebook. Newspapers also have little control over content and access to reader metrics when companies like Apple deliver their product.

“The clock,” the report concludes, “continues to tick on finding strong supplementary revenue streams as print seems certain to stagnate or decline further.”