Understanding news audiences

We believe the future of journalism must involve news organizations better understanding the needs and behaviors of their audiences. To that end, we conduct innovative research into how Americans get news.

Below you will find other recent insights we have curated about how to reach and serve news audiences.

“Seekers” vs. “Bumpers” and a potential target for news organizations

In research that the Media Insight Project produced in 2015, we innovated a concept that we think has become an important one in trying to understand the future of news. We asked people whether, on balance, they were more likely to actively seek out news or whether they were more likely to bump into it […]

Print vs. digital subscribers: Demographic differences and paths to subscription

Overall, 58 percent of subscribers describe themselves as primarily print-oriented, and 28 percent say they are primarily digital. Among just newspaper subscribers, even more (75 percent) describe themselves as print-oriented. But these numbers look very different when we break people down by demographic groups. Among those who pay, Hispanics are particularly likely to use primarily […]

Price and paying for news

If subscriptions are going to play a bigger role in the future of journalism, then another area of growing importance is pricing. How sensitive are people to the price of the news? If the price were lower, or structured differently, might more people pay? Or are those who pay for news a relatively smaller group […]

How do younger news payers differ from older news payers?

In the end, the future of the news industry hangs on whether younger audiences engage with news strongly and if the group often called Millennials is willing to pay for the news directly. What does the survey indicate about that? To know, we need to take a deeper look at the attitudes of the youngest […]

Paying for news: Why people subscribe and what it says about the future of journalism

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Introduction The future of journalism will increasingly depend on consumers paying for the news directly, as content distributors like Facebook and Google take up the lion’s share of digital […]

‘Who shared it?’: How Americans decide what news to trust on social media

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Introduction When Americans encounter news on social media, how much they trust the content is determined less by who creates the news than by who shares it, according to […]

Why we click on news stories

For news organizations, clicks are tracked closely. They generate advertising revenue and help newsrooms to better understand audience interests. But what motivates news users to click? The reasons are diverse and perhaps unexpected, according to a study forthcoming in the academic journal Journalism by Ph.D. candidate Tim Groot Kormelink and journalism studies professor Irene Costera […]

The decline of local news organizations means national news organizations are facing a growing gap with their readers

“On a day last week when the Page 1 story in the national papers was Trump’s rambling and combative press conference, the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette ran with three local stories above the fold and a piece on Sen. Pat Toomey holding a town-hall meeting two counties over. Both are legitimate and interesting coverage choices. But […]

‘I Ignored Trump News for a Week. Here’s What I Learned.’

Farhad Manjoo spent last week avoiding news about Trump, not to “stick my head in the sand” but to “learn about the modern news media by looking at how thoroughly Mr. Trump had subsumed it.” After finding it hard to find Trump-free news and coming across important stories that aren’t shared as widely, Manjoo asks […]

A reader’s take on news’ trust problem: News organizations aren’t providing enough context, depth or understanding for readers

“It’s 2017, and it’s time to face the reality that our world is changing. That means you need to change too. I don’t think you guys realize how badly our relationship has been suffering,” USC student Darrell Florence writes as part of a series from USC Annenberg’s Media Center on how products affect trust in […]