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By Joe Hronek

So what is the current state of news media?  To a certain extent we are all aware of the situation because this is the era in which we live.  It is common knowledge that twitter and blogging are popular, that print news and of 6:30pm broadcasts are in decline, and that these companies are scrambling to remain relevant.  This is supported by research: Twitter averages 1 Billion Tweets per week [1]; here we can see the decline in newspaper usage: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/638/whoreadsnewspaper.jpg/ ; and here we can see the decline in broadcast viewership: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/714/eveningnewsaudiencecont.png/ .

I do not think traditional media will be disappearing anytime soon.  So far newspaper outlets have been able to adapt somewhat by transporting their content online: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/adrevenues.jpg/ .  Cable news has worked out its own niche in the market, but broadcast news viewers still vastly outnumber that of cable outlets by millions [2].

It is clear that we currently consume news in a hybrid form; we use both traditional and new sources.  I think what helps inform our predictions for the future is very recent trends in the developing or non-Western world.  The Arab Spring and unrest in the Middle East is a perfect example of this.  Also, the structure of our media speaks volumes of our culture, and this can better inform how we act going forward. If non-traditional news media fosters democratic participation in our society, we might want to increase its use for that end.

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