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Now the Details

Media, ethics, and journalism. What works. What doesn't.

Jeffrey Dvorkin

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why Old Media Still Count

 From the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz:

With the explosion of media outlets, where is the reporting -- the actual unearthing of new facts -- coming from these days? 

If a study of how news is made in Baltimore is any indication, the answer is: 95 percent from the old media, mostly newspapers.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism examined 53 outlets that regularly cover Baltimore over the course of one week last July. In looking at six major news stories, the group found that 83 percent of them -- in print, television, radio, blogs and Web sites -- were essentially repetitive. "Much of the 'news' people receive contains no original reporting," the study says. "Fully eight out of 10 stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information."

Among the remaining stories that advanced the ball, 61 percent came from newspapers -- from the Baltimore Sun to specialty publications -- followed by 28 percent from local TV stations and 7 percent from radio. Twitter and local Web sites "played only a limited role: mainly an alert system and a way to disseminate stories from other places." One exception: a story noticed by a local blog involving a state plan to put listening devices on buses to deter crime, which was quickly dropped after the report on Maryland Politics Watch.

Still, newspapers aren't what they used to be. In covering budget cuts ordered by Gov. Martin O'Malley, the Sun carried seven articles -- compared with 49 during a similar round of cutbacks in 1991. The Washington Post ran four pieces, compared with 12 during the earlier cutbacks. One sign of the times: a Sun correspondent first reported the shooting of two police officers on his Twitter feed.

1 comment:

  1. I would've agreed with this article before the ClimateGate story came out.

    The blogs led the way, while the MSM sat around doing whatever else they do.

    The fact that this article ends with a reporter breaking the latest story on Twitter says everything you need to know about the future.

    Twitter and social media ARE the future of media, not a tool for old media to utilize.