Journalists less well known than they used to be

Interesting report from the Pew Research Center.

The increasingly fragmented media landscape has diminished the prominence of the nation’s top journalists.

Two decades ago, the vast majority of Americans had a “favorite” journalist or news person, and the top picks were representatives of the big three broadcast television networks. Today, only a slim majority can name the journalist they admire most and the preferences are much more scattered.

Reflecting the myriad choices news consumers have today, the top 10 journalists named by the public are drawn from the networks, cable news channels, public television and even Comedy Central.

In another sign of the times, the internet was a major source of news about the recent downturn in the stock market. One-in-five Americans who were paying at least some attention to the stock market news say they first heard about the drop in stocks by going online. After a major market tumble in 1997 only 2% of those following the news story said they first heard about it online. Far fewer Americans got the recent news about the market from television compared with 10 years ago. Among those who were following the stock market news very closely, the internet was an even bigger source of information. Fully 29% of this group first heard about the market downturn online, only 40% heard the news on television (down from 66% in 1997).