Gallup’s news sources numbers show “unbundling”
December 15th, 2008

With some very bad news charts for MSM, the Gallup polling people report:

Cable, Internet News Sources Growing in Popularity
Amid announcements from the Tribune Company, National Public Radio, and Newsweek last week of cutbacks to deal with extreme economic pressures, Gallup’s update on Americans’ go-to news sources reveals little encouragement for these media. Among daily news sources, only cable and Internet news have shown significant gains in popularity since 2006, while all other media are stable or declining.

The large scale national news sources appear to be getting “unbundled,” by news-seekers as Nicholas Carr described in his book The Big Switch.

The publisher’s goal [in print] is to make the entire package as attractive as possible to a broad set of readers and advertisers. The newspaper as a whole is what matters, and as a product it’s worth more than the sum of its parts. When a newspaper moves online, the bundle falls apart. Readers don’t flip through a mix of stories, advertisements, and other bits of content. They go directly to a particular story that interests them, often ignoring everything else. [p. 153]

The preference for local and for streams of bits of particular stories are winning big on Gallup’s charts.

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