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Pew Study: News Consumers Turned Off By Coverage Cutbacks

Finds most consumers knew little or nothing about journalism's financial woes 3/18/2013 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Almost a third (31%) 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 most news consumers (60%) 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.

But 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. 

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