Study Finds Increasing Threat to TV Stations’ Newscasts — but Top Four Sources of News Are All Old School

Sep 26, 2011  •  Post A Comment

A new study spotlights an increasing threat to the already tough TV station business, Deadline.com reports. The study by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Internet & American Life Project says local newscasts are at risk of losing viewers to smartphones.

However, the study’s ranking of the four most popular sources of news is a familiar list: TV is No. 1, followed by word-of-mouth, radio and newspapers.

Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, said: ”For some things TV matters most, for others newspapers and their websites are primary sources, and the internet is used for still other topics.”

But the story says local newscasts, which are an important cash source for broadcasters, run the risk of losing viewers to the smartphone as viewers increasingly find they can obtain the information they want more quickly and easily on the devices.

The story reports: “Although 74% of adults watch TV newscasts at least once a week, viewers primarily tune in for just three things: weather, breaking news, and traffic. These ‘might easily be replaced by mobile platforms that are even more accessible than TV,’ the report says. ‘For weather, this may already be happening — as roughly a third (32%) cite the Internet as a primary source and 7% cite mobile devices.’

The report also states that for “most of the local topics that require more deep reporting and analysis … consumers already turn to platforms other than television.”

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