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As the year-end wrap-ups, top 10 lists, and ’08 retrospectives flood in, I noticed this item released last week from Pew (I was out last week). The part that stuck out is that the Internet has overtaken newspapers for the first time this year as a source for Americans to get their news (see chart below).

Also notable (but expected) is how the Internet has shown steep growth among younger viewers as a top source for news. It now rivals television among this segment (ages 18 to 29). This is supportive of analysis we’ve made about these competitive media, and should be taken to heart by anyone in the media and advertising worlds. Local media in particular will continue to mirror these overall trends.

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  1. As fewer of us subscribe to newspapers, have daily access to them, or make/have time to read newspapers regularly, we get the latest news on-demand from the Internet. But the best local news is still coming from the newspaper companies, but much more of it online, and they have to continue to improve how they capitalize and monetize it. The progressive newspapers are thinking of themselves less in terms of printing presses and paper, and more for their relevant assets: voice of a local community, information distribution via multiple channels, local-centric advertising opportunities, even their cost-effective ability to reach individual doorsteps in a market, etc. We’re already seeing some of them shift away from daily printed newspapers (Detroit Media) and we’ll see some significant business model changes in 2009.

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