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Key facts about digital-native news outlets amid staff cuts, revenue losses

Digital-native news outlets – those “born on the web” – have seen a wave of cuts since the outbreak of the coronavirus as financial troubles continue to roil the news media. Quartz laid off 80 staffers as its advertising revenue declined by over half. BuzzFeed shut down its divisions in the UK and Australia while furloughing dozens in the United States, and Vox furloughed about 100. The Outline has shut down entirely. Here are key facts about digital-native news organizations. All data predates the current downturn related to the coronavirus:

Trusting the News Media in the Trump Era

It is no secret that, in an information environment characterized by deep tensions between President Donald Trump and national news organizations, Americans are divided in their trust of the news media. A new Pew Research Center exploration of more than 50 different surveys conducted by the Center – combined with an analysis of well over 100 questions measuring possible factors that could drive trust in the news media – confirms that in the Trump era nothing comes close to matching the impact of political party identification. On item after item, Republicans consistently express far greater

Many Americans Say Made-Up News Is a Critical Problem That Needs To Be Fixed

Many Americans say the creation and spread of made-up news and information is causing significant harm to the nation and needs to be stopped. Indeed, more Americans view made-up news as a very big problem for the country than identify terrorism, illegal immigration, racism and sexism that way.

Social Media Bots Draw Public’s Attention and Concern

Since the 2016 US presidential election, many Americans have expressed concern about the presence of misinformation online, particularly on social media. This topic has drawn the attention of much of the public: About two-thirds of Americans (66%) have heard about social media bots, though far fewer (16%) have heard a lot about these accounts. Among those aware of the phenomenon, a large majority are concerned that bot accounts are being used maliciously, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Partisans Remain Sharply Divided in Their Attitudes About the News Media

After a year of continued tension between President Donald Trump and the news media, the partisan divides in attitudes toward the news media that widened in the wake of the 2016 presidential election remain stark, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. Specifically, strong divisions between Republicans and Democrats persist when it comes to support of the news media’s watchdog role, perceived fairness in political coverage, trust in information from both national and local news organizations, and ratings of how well the news media keep people informed.

Searching for News: The Flint water crisis

During the long saga of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan – an ongoing, multilayered disaster that exposed about 100,000 residents to harmful contaminants and lead and left them even as of early 2017 advised to drink filtered or bottled water – local and regional audiences used online search engines as a way to both follow the news and understand its impact on public and personal health. A new Pew Research Center study, based on anonymized Google search data from Jan. 5, 2014, through July 2, 2016, delves into the kinds of searches that were most prevalent as a proxy for public interest, concerns and intentions.

The study also tracks the way search activity ebbed and flowed alongside real world events and their associated news coverage. The study begins in 2014, when officials switched the source of municipal drinking water from the Detroit city water system to the Flint River. The study period covers ensuing events that included bacteria-related “boil water” advisories, studies showing elevated lead levels in children’s blood and tap water samples, government-issued lead warnings, bottled-water distribution, declarations of emergency, the filing of criminal charges, a Democratic presidential candidate debate in Flint and a visit to the city by President Barack Obama.