MSM influence may be growing, not declining

Monday, May 08, 2006
Many of us have expressed delight that newspaper circulation figures and earnings have been declining steadily for a while now. But the supposed implication of that is not necessarily a lessening of MSM influence.

As paid circulation figures drop off, newspapers are reporting increases in viewership on their websites. In fact the increase on the web far outweighs the decrease in traditional hardcopy sales.

Newspaper Circulation Declines 2.6 Percent according to the AP. The data was furnished by the Newspaper Association of America which also says:

Despite the declines in paid copies, the NAA also reported Monday that newspaper-run Web sites had an 8 percent increase in viewers in the first quarter. The data from Nielsen/NetRatings found that newspaper Web sites averaged 56 million users in the period, or 37 percent of all online users in the period, the NAA said.


Though I truly doubt that Nielsen figure the loss of tens of thousands vs the gain of millions tells me that the influence of the MSM is still very strong and probably much stronger than a few years ago.

(Anyway, no matter the circulation figures, television, cable, and radio decide what to discuss based on what the Times deems is important on any given day. That hasn't changed one iota.)

Yes, many web viewers read the articles with a skeptical eye, but millions?

4 comments:

David Thomson said...

"Though I truly doubt that Nielsen figure the loss of tens of thousands vs the gain of millions tells me that the influence of the MSM is still very strong and probably much stronger than a few years ago."

You may very well be correct! No other theory sounds plausible especially when factoring in the recent poll results. A number of folks like myself may have been overly optimistic. Thank God for the blogs and the other sectors of the “new media.” They allow we anti-leftist Davids a decent chance to defeat the much larger Goliaths.

Syl said...

Yes, David. We're here too. And that makes a difference. Foxnews makes a difference.

Perhaps on the web, all our voices are equal--I certainly hope so.

But I also think that people who otherwise didn't pay much attention are reading the filtered MSM news on the 'net because it's there and easy.

In the end, of course, we're all better informed. But, in the meantime, 'the masses' take the MSM position on gas prices, immigration, Iraq, whatever.

Fresh Air said...

The thing about the website traffic is that much of it is reached by readers who are already
"pre-spun" by conservative or anti-idiotarian bloggers. I read more WaPo articles than I ever did before I quit reading newspapers in the traditional sense. But I reach these stories from Powerline or YARGB or wheverer, already knowing the article is riddled with errors. Thus the article does not have its intended effect, and in fact has only a fraction of its power to move me.

This is true most of the time. There are exceptions of course.

Syl said...

Fresh air

This is true most of the time.

Well, we don't really know that, do we?