Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How News Happens Study from Pew

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has just released a study on the "news ecosystem" of one city, Baltimore, Maryland. The report, How News Happens: A Study of the News Ecosystem of One American City, looks at all of the outlets that produced local news in the city for one week. One of the more startling findings in the report is that that eight out of ten stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information. These stories then tended to set the narrative agenda for most other media outlets. And while the news landscape is larger and more various than ever, 95% of what the public learns comes from traditional media, particularly newspapers.

The report is full of tables and charts that illuminate findings about the ten specific stories studied, namely the breakdown of news topics across media sectors, the amount of original information by media sectors, and news coverage triggers (government, press, citizen, college/university, spontaneous).

The full report is available at PEJ.

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