Fake news, real news, here's where it's coming from 

Fake news, real news, here’s where it’s coming from 

Bottom Line: Having spent 22 years in radio, 18 of it in news radio, I’ve seen a lot. The change from the end of deregulation in the 90’s to the peak of employment and industry valuations in the early 2000’s to where the dust settled in recent years. The one constant has been the erosion of employees working in “news reporting”. Not just in radio but across the spectrum. In this era of news, which is often dominated by what’s subjective or even fake, here’s an update on where it’s coming from as it’s created. 

According to the Pew Research Center there are now 86,000 people who work in news media across the country. That’s down from 114,000 a decade ago. And where are these news employees working? 

  • 44%: Newspapers
  • 36%: TV
  • 16%: Digital
  • 4%:  Radio

As we consider news distribution today and what’s likely to change – with the certain attrition to continue at newspapers especially – it's possible that we’ll have a changing of the guard in terms of news aggregation and creation. There’s never been a time in American history where newspapers haven’t been the majority player in news and content creation. Just a decade ago 62% of everyone employed in the news industry worked for a newspaper – that's declined by nearly twenty percent in just ten years. The time is fast coming when TV will overtake newspapers in content creation and a decade from now digital will likely pass TV. That means the days when the New York Times and Washington Post drive the agenda for the mainstream news media will soon come to a close. The question becomes who and what will be driving the agenda from that point forward. For those that watch and wonder what’s happening at Fox News, like President Trump, this is all part of the longer-term puzzle. As the leading all-news station, they’re positioned to drive the agenda to a certain degree. I suspect they’re pushing the boundaries of how far they can go towards the middle or even slightly left of center aside from the opinion shows in an effort to capitalize on the current shift. Of course, it has the potential to backfire as well. The point is this. What’s been previously and for all our history is about to shift. Hopefully this leads to more real news, not less. 

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