News Consumers Turned Off By Coverage Cutbacks: PewStudy Finds Most Consumers Knew Little or Nothing about Journalism's Financial Woes 3/17/2013 8:06 PM Eastern
Almost one-third of news consumers say they have "deserted" a particular news outlets because it no longer provides the information they were accustomed to getting, and that 31% was primarily the older, upper income viewers/readers/listeners that are the heaviest consumers of news.
That is according to a new Pew Research Center Survey released as part of its annual "State of the News Media" report. It did not identify what outlet each was deserting.
The survey also found that 60% of news consumers knew little of nothing about the financial struggles that have led to some of the staff cuts and coverage cutbacks. But even a majority of those who did curiously missed the connection. Of those who had heard at least a little about journalism's financial challenges, 57% said they didn’t think it had "much of an impact" on the media’s ability to cover news, local, national or international.
Perhaps that may be a good thing. That's because the survey found that the minority who were aware and did draw the connection, was also the group most likely to say they were abandoning an outlet because of cutbacks.
Asked whether there were fewer stories or the problem was that stories were less thorough, 48% said less thorough, 31% said fewer, and 5% said they were about equal (6% said neither and 10% didn't know or weren't saying).
The results are based on a phone survey--landline and wireless--of more than 2,009 U.S. adults conducted the last week of January and the first week of February by Princeton Survey Research Associates. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.