Online news sites increase employment by 5,000 full-time jobs over ten years, while newspapers have lost about 16,200 jobs in about same time period, according to research by Pew Research Center

Aimee Bellah

Aimee Bellah

Mar 26, 2014 – Star-Ledger

NEWARK, New Jersey , March 26, 2014 () – Online news sites have added 5,000 full-time jobs to the news business over the last few years, while employment in the newspaper industry continues to decline, according to a new accounting by the Pew Research Center.

Pew released its annual "State of the News Media" report today, tracking changes in the $60 billion news business.

The wide-ranging study, which covers everything from new digital startups to newspapers and cable news, found there is a new energy in the news business as online news ventures try new models of reporting and making a profit.

"New players are boosting reporting power, technological talent and financial resources going into news, creating a level of energy not felt for a long time," said Amy Mitchell, Pew's director of journalism research.

"The momentum is real, but it remains to be seen whether these new ventures will flourish and extend to the variety of ways in which the public consumes news and information."

The study found most journalists producing original reporting still work in the newspaper business, though employment at traditional papers fell 6.4 percent in 2012 and was expected to dip more once 2013 figures are finalized.

Over the past decade, 468 large and small online ventures have hired about 5,000 full-time editorial employees, Pew's research said. Meanwhile, newspapers have lost about 16,200 newsroom jobs over roughly the same period, and magazines have eliminated about 38,000 jobs.

The report also details how social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, are affecting the way the public gets its news. Pew's "8 Key Takeaways about Social Media and News" breaks down how social media use the sites. The study found half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on the sites. But most users don't go hunting for news on social media sites and only run into news stories in passing.

The report also found:

• Nearly 70 percent of the revenues in the news business still come from selling advertising.

• Americans are getting more comfortable watching and creating online news videos. About a third of adults watch news online, about the same percentage who say they watch cable news channels. On social networking sites, about a tenth of users have posted their own videos of news events.

• The audience for cable news television is shrinking. The prime-time viewership for the three largest news channels -- CNN, Fox News and MSNBC -- fell to 3 million last year, the smallest combined audience since 2007.

• Ownership of local TV stations is consolidating and many stations in the same market are sharing content. Nearly 300 local TV stations were sold last year. One large owner, Sinclair Broadcasting, is poised to own or provide service to 167 stations serving 40 percent of the U.S. population.

The full report can be found on the Pew Research website (

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