Most people prefer to get their news through a “side door” like Facebook rather than directly from a news source, according a new reportfrom the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. This seems to indicate a deterioration of trust between media outlets and the public, according to the report, along with a reluctance to pay for the news. Still, people are paying. The significant increase in subscriptions that began in 2016 in the US has been maintained.
The main beneficiaries of the US surge in subscriptions since 2016 have been liberal newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post. The Times has increased digital subscription revenues by almost 50% in the last year as it heads for a target of 10m subscribers globally. The Washington Post does not give official numbers but an internal memo revealed digital-only subscribers had reached more than 1 million, doubling in the last year. Almost all the growth in the last two years has come from those who identify on the left or in the centre – along with under 35s.
This raises a concern that high-quality news is mainly available to those who can afford it. Keeping the news free (as with the Guardiannewspaper in the UK and NPR in the US) relies on voluntary memberships. According to the report, people with knowledge about how the news industry is financed were more willing to pay for or donate to independent fact-based news organizations.
And so….thank you. For your understanding, your interest, and your support for quality journalism. Please spread the word.
With warmest regards,
Round Earth media is a non-profit supporting young journalists around the world, enabling them to find and tell stories the world needs to hear.