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Down in Washington, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its annual report on “The State of the News Media.” For those really interested in digesting the 180,000-word report, it’s probably best just to visit it here. Otherwise, here’s a brief breakdown.

Surprising News The authors found that over 80 percent of links on “new” media blogs and social networking sites were directing users to “old” media sources. Meaning, basically, that most “new” media is just repackaging the old stuff as debate and discussion. Nothing wrong with that, of course—in fact, it’s exactly what’s great about the web. But traditional reporting is still providing the grist for the web’s mill, and the revenue to support it is scarcer than ever.

Unsurprising News Opinions rule. Newsmagazines are getting more opinionated, newspapers are getting more opinionated, and as mentioned above, the web is almost 100 percent opinion. Which leads to the:

Depressing News Print media are in decline. Local TV is in decline. Network TV is in decline. Only digital and cable news enjoyed audience growth last year, and FOX News garnered most of that. For those who like their opinions to be 100 percent fact-free.

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About the author

Matthew Halliday was the Senior Editor for the Spring 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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