In fact, according to a Pew Research Center report released Monday, one in three have stopped tuning in to a particular news outlet because of fewer stories and less detailed coverage.
Local TV ad revenues were at a 10-year low in 2012, even with political ads from the presidential election. This translates to less investigative reports, more opinion pieces, shorter stories and more weather, traffic and sports filler.
“These cutbacks are real,” Amy Mitchell, acting director for Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, told the Associated Press. “And based on the data that we’ve collected, they are having an effect.”
The report concludes that news outlets’ “financial future may well hinge on their ability to provide high quality reporting.” However, with less money to finance such journalism, TV news outlets are now devoting 40 percent of total airtime to traffic, weather and sports, a 25 percent increase in airtime from 2007. This means less time for edited packages and breaking news. Mitchell told AP that this increase at the cost of local news coverage does not bode well for the industry’s future because weather, sports and traffic information is readily available online.