Online advertising is nowhere near to providing media outlets the revenue they need, according to a report released Thursday from the Federal Communications Commission.
The agency's highly anticipated report on the media market confirmed what many media companies already knew: while the Internet has provided new ways to communicate, it has also undermined revenue for many traditional news outlets.
"It is a myth that local newspapers suffered because they did not grow traffic online," the report finds. "From 2005 to 2009, newspapers' online traffic skyrocketed--from 43.7 million unique monthly users to 70 million, from 1.6 billion monthly page views to 3 billion page views. But in financial terms, that growth was shockingly meaningless."
In that same period, online advertising revenue for newspapers grew by $716 million, while print advertising plummeted by $22.6 billion, according to the report.
All that loss has reduced the quality of local journalism, the agency's researchers found. But the Commission was divided about how big a role the government should play in preserving and open and vibrant media. For more on the debate, visit our Tech page.