The Pew Center is out today with its annual report on the state of the American news media. I know what you’re thinking, but let’s break it down the Pew way, anyway.
Last year, the “democratization” of the media was a big topic. It still is, of course. This notion that you don’t have to be a big media outlet to be in the “news business” is one, according to Pew, that has turned out to be a bit more complicated.
Looking closely, a clear case for democratization is harder to make. Even with so many new sources, more people now consume what old media newsrooms produce, particularly from print, than before. Online, for instance, the top 10 news Web sites, drawing mostly from old brands, are more of an oligarchy, commanding a larger share of audience, than in the legacy media. The verdict on citizen media for now suggests limitations. And research shows blogs and public affairs Web sites attract a smaller audience than expected and are produced by people with even more elite backgrounds than journalists.
Blogs attract a smaller audience than expected? Shoot.
Here’s the whole report.