Digital News Report 2014

Nic Newman, Lumen Learning, Jun 12, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The disruptions to news reporting caused by the internet and social media are just beginning, according to this report released by Reuters. Facebook is vital worldwide for news distribution, Twitter in the US, UK and Spain, and WhatsApp in many other parts of the world. Sharing is widespread in the US, Brazil and Spain (though much less so in the UK. So, in related news, we are seeing that the next five years will see a major revenue shift for news agencies. This is especially relevant given the reluctance of pewople to pay for news; "the report finds only a minority of people have paid for digital news in the last year (ranging from 7% in the UK to 11% in the US, 14% in Finland and 22% in Brazil)." As we found here in Moncton last week, a paywall during a crisis looks a lot like profiteering, not service to the community, which has always been the newspaper's core value.

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