Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The News Media's Comeback Year, In Chart Form

If you happen to have lost your job in a mass layoff in the recent past, this won’t apply to you. But here’s some good news for most of the folks in who work in the news business: Things are looking up.

Or at the very least, they’ve gotten better in the past year. Here’s a chart from the Pew Research Center’s “Project For Excellence In Journalism” 2011 report that shows revenue by sector:

And yes, 2009 comps are off a very low base, because most of the media world spent that year reeling from the Lehman collapse of 2008. But it’s still an increase. Except, of course, for the newspaper industry, which may never recover.

And here’s the chart that should worry almost everyone in the chart above. Except, of course, that they already know this–traditional outlets’ audiences are shrinking, because they’re headed online.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald