Washington


The United States of America is currently undergoing a media revolution where more people are switching to digital technologies to get news instead of relying on traditional sources of information like TV and the daily newspapers.
Daily newspapers in the US, this scribe observed during a recent visit to Washington, have lost 40 per cent of their readership in the last 20 years. In 1991, 70 per cent people would watch TV for news, but now a 50 per cent drop has been witnessed in their viewership. Revenue loss is more than the audience loss.
Amazingly, 90 per cent of the Americans get news from the social media-Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Timblr etc. Until 2012, 70 per cent of Americans were connected to the internet while 82 per cent got news from the cell phone.
 “In the US, there would be Sunday newspapers only after 20 years or so when the older generation now reading newspapers would disappear”, said a media researcher, who also told that the average age for newspaper readers in the US was 54. 
“There is a serious debate going on in the US over the fate of print media, which many believe, was dying”, he said, adding that in America, there were only three national papers and six national news channels.
“Arrival of new competitors, Twitter, Vine and tumblr have made things difficult for the print media”, another expert analysing changes in media technology in USA opined.
In the US, the people, especially the younger generation, uses Twitter as news feed as researchers have recorded two billion tweets worldwide in two and half days, he added.
A transparency report prepared by Twitter company lists countries which have complaints about the tweets and have also requested for pulling down of many of the tweets besides seeking information about some users. Japan has the most active twitter users, but the information there is more social in nature.
The international journalists during their visit to the Colombia School of Journalism at New York came to know of some interesting details regarding new trends in digital information also debated at a symposium held last month at the school. It was revealed that “over the last five years, the amount of digital information worldwide had increased almost 2,000 per cent exceeding 2.8 trillion gigabytes”.
A startling point which came to the lime light at the conference was the fact that “the world is awash in a sea of data, from sensors, digital photos, global positioning systems, social media, email, inventory statistics, patient metrics, consumer spending patterns, and weather stations”.
G Michael Purdy, the University’s executive vice president for research, said at the symposium that digital data, also referred as “Big Data” “will dramatically change the way we view the world around us, including the way new tools and technologies will be developed and how people will engage with one another”.