For all talk of divergent local media sources online, almost
all of the news that contains actual new information continues to come from
newspapers and broadcast outlets, according to
a new study by the Pew
Project for Excellence in Journalism.
PEJ looked at all the news reported in the City of Baltimore over one week
and found 53 different news outlets that regularly produced local news, including
blogs and independent news sites. It then drilled down into six key storylines
Of those, 95% of the stories with "significant new
information" came from traditional media, most of them newspapers
(including specialty papers). TV and
radio earned a combined 35%. The other new media outlets combined produced just
7% of the enterprise reporting.
But even though the sources may have been traditional, the
delivery often wasn't. A third of TV and radio stories came from their online
incarnations, and almost half the print stories were from their digital side.
According to the study, there were two stories broken by new
media, one from a police Twitter feed, and another when a local blog reported
on a plan to bug buses to discourage crime, though a newspaper's pick-up of the
blog story led to the plan being tabled, according to PEJ.