Tuesday, March 15, 2011

State of the media: NPR rules

Republicans are targeting NPR because,
well, they like to shoot things.

As most everyone knows, the daily newspaper continues its free-fall in circulation, employment and revenue.

But, the real astonishing news Monday from the annual State of the News Media report by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, is that cable TV viewership took the biggest hit with a drop of 13.7 percent. 

Actually, I'm not entirely surprised since cable TV suffered its first declines ever in subscriptions last year because these hundreds of thousands of former subscribers found it not worth the high cost. Also, when you consider the dearth of real news on cable, as opposed to shrill commentary, most viewers just say "no thanks."

The big winner, as we all know, is the web, internet, the lifeblood of the masses. Web readership jumped by 17.1 percent. And, with more "smart" phones  debuting weekly, the distribution model for information is now the mobile telephone.

Radio also suffered. The report noted that "34 percent of Americans said they got some news on the radio 'yesterday,' down from 43 percent in 2000."

But, a clear winner in radio news has emerged and that is NPR or National Public Radio.

The report noted the difference: " NPR, by contrast, has flourished as commercial all-news radio programming has become scarcer. NPR’s audience grew 3 percent in 2010, according to NPR internal data, to 27.2 million a week. That is up 58 percent since 2000."

No wonder Republicans want to cut funding to NPR. The last thing they want is an informed electorate. Republicans bank on the ill- and un-informed citizen who craves the latest blather from Limbaugh, et al.

Americans turn to NPR for solid national and international information that is hard to get elsewhere. In fact, NPR and PBS are the only ones still regularly covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read comments on the Wall Street Journal website to an article about the NPR funding battles, though, and you find how most of those commenters are unhinged from reality. These are the Faux News devotees. Sorry, to burst their bubble, but NPR is not the opposite of Faux News. The only "liberal" source of national news is MSNBC on cable TV. In actuality, though, the MSNBC website tones down the anti-Republican chatter and provides real, sold news, unlike the Faux News website, with its constant focus on how Democrats are to blame for everything.

Without NPR, we would be a nation more ignorant of the world around us than we already are.

Save NPR/PBS and you help save America.

No comments:

Post a Comment