Skip to main content
Brookings Now

The Decline of Newspapers, in Four Charts

and

It’s no secret that over the past decade the digital revolution has threatened the world of print journalism as we have know it. Across the country, magazines and newspapers are struggling to stay afloat, or even closing, as they see their revenues decreasing and their traditional readership looking for news online and elsewhere.

In his recent Brookings Essay “The Bad News about the News,” veteran Washington Post reporter and editor Robert Kaiser explores the state of print media and journalism, and looks ahead at what the future will hold for a democracy built on the existence of a free and active press.

Much of the story can be told in 4 simple charts:

Newspaper revenues are dropping steadily as spending on advertising has dispersed online.

GoogleAdRevenue_650w1

 


The number of journalists at U.S. newspapers has dropped 39% since 1989.

declineEmployees_650w1

 


Americans are relying less on news organizations, and consuming news from a growing number of sources.

newsDiscovery_650w1

 


The data show that ad revenue spent on print media far outweighs the amount of time readers spend there, and will inevitably continue to drop.

timeSpent_650w1

 


Read “The Bad News about the News” for more details on this story.

Randi Brown and Thomas Young contributed to this post.

Authors

Get daily updates from Brookings