Pew on news media in America: Grim state of affairs

The good folk at the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism have issued their annual report on the state of the news media in America. Bottom line: “In 2012, a continued erosion of news reporting resources converged with growing opportunities for those in politics, government agencies, companies and others to take their messages directly to the public.”

In other words, government and the private sector are telling you the news they want you to know, not necessarily the news you need to hear. And the U.S. news media, severely depleted after more than a decade of decline, doesn’t have the resources to get the real story anymore, say the Pew researchers.

“This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands. And findings from our new public opinion survey released in this report reveal that the public is taking notice. Nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to.”

That’s where groups like the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting come in: We fill the growing gap between what the media can do and what you really need to know.

You can see the full report here.

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