News Consumption and the New Electronic Media

By Douglas Ahlers

A paper by Douglas Ahlers, spring 2005 fellow, looks at the hypothesized shift of news consumption from the traditional media to the online news media. Ahlers argues that the hypothesized mass migration of news consumption behavior is not supported by the facts. Two-thirds of the U.S. adult population had not shifted to online news consumption in 2006, and appeared unlikely to do so. The paper also examines the advertising markets for traditional news media and for online media and found that online advertising is an imperfect substitute for advertisers. At the time of publication, Ahler’s paper found no major impact on the economics of the news industry due to online news media.

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