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Newspapers, TV News Face Gloomy Future

April 12, 2010

According to a survey released on Monday, almost half of all US news agencies and newspapers think their organizations will be nonexistent within 10 years unless a new source of revenue can be found and implemented.

46 percent of the executives surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism said they could still be running after ten years. Seventeen percent felt that they could go out of business within 10 years without significant revenue or stronger partnerships. 24 percent of news agencies thought they would become extinct within 3 to 5 years. Roughly six percent believed they would last one to two years.

Pew received 353 responses from members of the American Society of News Editors and the Radio Television Digital News Association in its December-January survey. With traditional advertising revenue in short supply, newspaper and TV news execs were asked what they are doing to try to secure new revenue.

18 percent of newspaper executives said they are trying to erect pay walls around their websites to charge readers online and a further 58 percent were considering such a move. As far as government subsidy options, 75 percent of news executives opposed that route.

Almost two-thirds of broadcast news execs felt their profession was headed in the wrong direction and almost half of newspaper executives felt their profession was headed in the wrong direction.

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