Seems like the August lull in news coverage is accompanied by interesting news about news (how meta). For instance, Google announcing plans to let “newsmakers” respond to news items about them. Such plans could have important ramifications for people with an interest in critical thinking and media literacy.
Another “metanews” item, the ‘Net is getting more timeshare than newspapers or recorded music.
Rutherfurd also pointed to a potentially worrisome development for the media industry–the overall time spent with media declined slightly last year, a spillover effect of the consumer shift away from newspapers and other traditional sources of news and entertainment.
For the first time in a decade, the study found, consumers spent less time with media in 2006 than they did in the previous year. Usage per person dropped 0.5 percent to 3,530 hours annually, according to the study, which said digital media typically requires less time than traditional media.
Maybe I’m missing something (and I should read the original report) but it doesn’t seem to me that the decrease in “overall time spent with media” could be worrisome to the media industry. Unless they only measure effectiveness in the time spent with media, the data may more readily show that people are increasingly becoming savvy media processors instead of passively ingesting whatever is in the media. I’m not cynical enough to see this as a bad thing.