Pew Internet Project Describes the State of Online News as Moving Target

The Pew Internet Project and the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s “State of the News Media 2010” report describes the state of online news heading into this year as “a moving target.”

Digital delivery is now well established as a part of most Americans daily news consumption. Six in ten Americans get some news online in a typical day — and most of these news junkies also get news from other media platforms as well. Yet it remains unclear how best to count the online audience.

The past year was a time of experimentation for all kinds of entities, but many have yet to materialize and others have little yet to show in terms of real dollars. The most established revenue source, online advertising, saw declines for the first time since 2002.

The declines were partly due to recession, but it is not clear to what extent the declines may also be structural and permanent. And the most talked about new revenue stream – getting users to pay for content – will depend, economists argue, on news organizations offering content that is unique, and this may require specialization and investment by news organizations.

According to Pew Internet and PEJ, three questions now drive discussions about the future of journalism: How much lost revenue might come back as the economy improves? How much journalistic potential exists in alternative new media operations? And what progress was made in new revenue models online?

A couple of sessions at SES New York 2010 will tackle these questions. The first is “News Search Optimization.” The session will be moderated by Mark Jackson, SEW Expert & President/CEO, VIZION Interactive. The panelists include: Matthew J. Brown, Director of Search Strategy, New York Times Company; John Shehata, Director of SEO & Social Media, Advance Internet, Inc.; Allison Fabella, SEO & Social Media Manager, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Lisa Buyer, President & CEO, The Buyer Group.

The other session that will tackle these issues is “Real Time SEO: No More Yesterday’s News.” Moderated by Dana Todd, CMO of Newsforce, the panel includes: Simon Heseltine, Senior Marketing Manager, AOL, LLC; Brent Payne, SEO Director, Tribune; Eleanor Hong, Lead Editor, SEO,; and Topher Kohan, SEO Manager, CNN.

Of course, marketers may want to “cut to the chase” and listen to what David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, has to say in his opening keynote. I recently interviewed Scott about his keynote and his book for SESConferenceExpo’s Channel on Youtube.

David Meerman Scott on the new rules of marketing & PR at SES New York 2010

As always, I should disclose that SES is a client of my agency. But trust me on the moving target.

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