New Study Reveals American Media Trends

by Genevieve Long for The Epoch Times

read the full article here

A new study reveals that Americans are still getting most of their news from traditional sources. The one-week study, run by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, was the result of a close examination of media coverage in Baltimore, Maryland from July 19–25, 2009.

The Pew Center is a nonpartisan organization that specializes in using empirical methods to evaluate and study the performance of the press, with a focus on content analysis.

Among the most significant findings were that most new information comes from traditional sources, and new media plays only a limited role in disseminating information. Other findings include that the official version of an event is becoming more important than original reporting, and formal procedures for citing are getting lost in the online world.

The study examined all local media outlets in Baltimore during the week and surveyed their output. A closer examination of six major narratives that emerged during the time frame found that much of the “news” people receive contains no original reporting.

Eight out of ten stories studied were repeated or repackaged information that was previously published.

read the full article here

Sources of news (Data courtesy of PEJ)

Coffee and Journalism Go Hand in Hand

Maybe because coffee has the impact of energizing most people–or rather giving them a temporary burst of energy–that it’s long been associated with journalists. Worn out journalists who have been run ragged by day and work long into the night need something to keep them going. After all, a reporter cannot survive on the mere thrill of chasing the latest story alone.

In the newsroom where I work, there are often discussions among the relatively health-conscious editorial staff about quitting drinking coffee. The conversations range from, “I wish I could quit” to “I am going to quit” to “Oh, I don’t drink coffee.” That last statement is always presented in a slightly triumphant tone, annoying all the coffee drinkers in the vicinity–especially those who would like to quit.

For me, coffee has an emotional connection to childhood memories of my dad (who was a TV cameraman much of the time I was growing up) and my best friend’s dad (who was a local legendary reporter at the town newspaper). I associate coffee with hard work, early mornings, crusty news reporters sitting around and shooting the bull in the newsroom on a slow day. Or maybe just between reporting and filing stories. It’s like one of those pegs you use to hold a tent up–a subtle, grounding link to the earth. Coffee keeps reporters honest and grounded among the people. You’ve never heard of a hard-core, battle-tested, tea-drinking reporter have you?

For the time being, I think I’ll keep drinking coffee, even though sometimes I overdo it and feel like my eyes are opened a bit wider than they should be. At the very least, it gives me something to focus on early in the morning when I have to sit down and write something brilliant. Write a little, take a sip of coffee and think about that next sentence…seems useful to me!