For media relations and communications professionals, understanding where target audiences go for news is critical. A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals that for the first time, the web has passed newspapers as the second most popular source of news. It's second only to television.
We've been anticipating this milestone, but now that it's here, it has significant impacts for our industry. Most importantly, this shift makes corporate blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds even more important as official sources of news content from major brands.
News Consumers Are Turning to the Web
The Pew study explains that the web is a premier source for news,
For the first time, too, more people said they got news from the web than newspapers. The internet now trails only television among American adults as a destination for news, and the trend line shows the gap closing. Financially the tipping point also has come. When the final tally is in, online ad revenue in 2010 is projected to surpass print newspaper ad revenue for the first time. The problem for news is that by far the largest share of that online ad revenue goes to non-news sources, particularly to aggregators.
As aggregators, bloggers and community sites continue to pull in ad revenue, they will add staff and will become top sources for news and opinion online. This means that a solid digital strategy is critical for any communications department. Building relationships with online media - bloggers, influencers, key opinion leaders, Twitter users, Facebook fans and blog commenters - will become the more important than some relationships with traditional media.