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Reports, reports and more reports on the future (for good and for bad) of journalism

If you’re just getting back from a long family vacation or returning to the start of a new academic year, then you’ve got plenty of reading to catch up on. This summer, there were several interesting reports from various corners about the state of news and the future of journalism. These are each well worth digging into if you’re interested in taking a hard look at where we need to go next.

  • The most recent of these was posted by Vin Crosbie, a new media consultant and critic, at his Digital Deliverance blog. The report is called “Transforming American Newspapers.” There’s Part I and Part II. Crosbie pushes past the typical explanations for the troubles facing newspapers, and also comes up with this grave prediction: “More than half of the 1,439 daily newspapers in the United States won’t exist in print, e-paper, or Web site formats by the end of next decade. They will go out of business.”
  • Next up: The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released a report on: “Audience Segments in a Changing News Environment.” The study finds that the evolving news readership is both more interesting and complex than the simple divide between print readers and online readers.
  • Finally, check out the latest from the Readership Institute: “News flash: Readers have NOT left the building.” Here’s a sample, in case you’re looking for a dose of hope: “The short answer is that reading customers aren’t deserting newspapers at anything approaching the rate that advertising customers are. That is no consolation for newspaper company employees who are losing their jobs, and it’s a challenge, to say the least, for a smaller staff to produce, sell and deliver a high-quality local news report for the people who want it. But make no mistake: lots of people still want it and lots are paying attention to the local newspaper.”

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