As if local tv newsers don’t have enough to worry about these days, here comes research from Ketchum Public Relations that shows local TV news has slipped significantly from its perch as the top information source for most Americans. According to Ketchum, there’s a “steady erosion of mass media authority,” with local TV news consumption falling from 74% to 63% in 2008. That’s an 11 percent drop, exactly the same percentage that blogs were UP… from 13% to 24%.
This isn’t about car dealers and retailers rolling back their ad spending. This is about viewers getting their information elsewhere. And that’s a big deal when pondering the viability of the medium in the future. Steve Smith at minonline.com puts it this way: “Professional content continues to have authority and a role in people’s media lives, but it has to be ready to speak and position itself as a part of a larger conversation. Social syndication tools, journalist blogs and email remain powerful tools for publishers. But just as appointment television is becoming a relic of last century’s mass media model, all forms of content will need to move into evolving usage paths.”
UPDATE: Looking for an idea on how to bring your news to consumers who might not be sitting in front of the tube at 6 anymore? Check out this idea: WRAL/Raleigh’s iPhone app. Read up on Outside the News Box.