News media seek paywalls as it loses reader trust

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readers_small.jpgADOTAS — While news media companies push the idea of paywalls for content, they also might want to work on reader trust because it continues to erode.

According to a Pew Research survey, just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate. In the initial survey in this series about the news media’s performance in 1985, 55% said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate. That percentage had fallen sharply by the late 1990s and has remained low over the last decade.

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Despite the financial tsunami that has crippled newsroom and force layoffs, the proliferation of Internet news sites and blogs is, as usual, pointed to by mainstream media as another major culprit.

“”The great flood that goes under the heading `news media’ has been poisoned by junk blogs, gossip sheets, shout radio and cable-TV partisans that don’t deserve to be trusted,” Keller told The Associated Press.

Of course, this reasoning doesn’t exactly explain why the trust has slid down since 1985.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Actually… TV news went down the drain when they pulled the NEWS division with Entertainment.

    That is what happened.. good article! Keep it up.

    Thanks,

    GENE

  2. Having entered our ‘profession’ as a trainee at Dow Jones & Company in 1969, served as a publisher at one of the nations largest B2B publishers (1975-1985) and continuing in the business today, it’s disheartening to see honest, balanced journalism pushed aside — “the lunatics are now running the asylum.”

    In many cases the downhill slide began when quality media organizations were acquired in mass by financial interests.

    As cash was drained to pay down the debt of acquisition many media organizations were weakened and now with smaller staff, and fewer resources it’s going to be difficult for them to survive the downturn and recover.

    Can’t blame the “web” it’s simply another delivery vehicle — hey, TV was new once, too.

    Perhaps we can hope advertisers get smart and stop advertising in the ‘hysterical media’; cable, network, print and online. If the viewer doesn’t trust the information it’s a very poor showcase for the marketers message.

    Hitting the media financial types in the pocketbook by making quality a factor in the media buy is the only thing that will force improvement in the reporting.

    …online material will need to be top-notch and differentiated if it’s expected people will pay for it.

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