Pew Research Center’s “Newspapers Fact Sheet” Sheds Light on Reality of the News Industry

WASHINGTON, DC — The journalism industry is in crisis. Pew Research Center released its annual “Newspapers Fact Sheet” calling attention to the all too familiar story of the decimation of the news industry. The free press is a foundation of American democracy, but Pew’s new data show that it is facing an existential threat from the tech giants in the digital age. Advertising revenue continues to collapse as Google and Facebook siphon off more and more money that used to go to news publishers.

Trends and Facts from Newspapers:

  • U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital) was 28.6 million in 2018, an 8% decrease from the previous year
  • Advertising revenue for the newspaper industry in 2018 was $14.3 billion, a 13% decrease from 2017
  • In 2018, 37,900 people worked as reporters, editors, photographers or video editors in the newspaper industry, a 14% decrease since 2015

The following is a statement from Laura Bassett, former Senior Politics Reporter for the HuffPost who was laid off in January, regarding the state of the journalism industry:

The journalism industry is facing an existential crisis. The free press faces numerous threats. But this new Pew data clearly shows that advertising revenue continues to plummet as the monopolistic power of Google and Facebook on the digital advertising marketplace takes more and more ad dollars that used to go to news publishers. The economic sustainability of the journalism industry is in real doubt. If this downward spiral is not stopped soon, one of the foundations of American democracy, the free press, could simply vanish.