Post-before-last, I took stock of changes in the local media landscape over the past year and made some observations about what those changes mean for nonprofits that must vie to build awareness of their missions.
This week, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, one of seven initiatives of the Pew Research Center, produced its sixth annual report on the State of the News Media and it’s a must-read. The business model for news gathering and reporting continues to founder, leading to what the report calls “chilling” numbers for newspapers, local TV and the ethnic press.
On the other hand, the stampede to online sources means that audiences now consume news in new ways, leading the report to observe, “They hunt and gather what they want when they want it, use search to comb among destinations and share what they find through a growing network of social media.” Alternative news sites also continue to grow (although many have a beat that focuses on government and politics, with limited interest in nonprofits per se).
Two special reports that were included in this year’s Pew analysis may be of particular value to nonprofits:
- A study of 363 citizen journalist websites in 46 markets, and
- A first-ever survey of members of the Online News Association (due out March 30)
Based on the study and my own local observations, I’m sticking with my opinion that is is difficult but not impossible to employ public relations techniques to build awareness of nonprofits in this post-apocalyptic news media period. The trick is that they’re not the same old public relations techniques. Maybe I’ll post more about that tomorrow!