Stay tuned for “State of the Media”

A must read for every journalist or anyone who cares about the profession is the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual State of the News Media Report. This will be the fifth year of the report, which is scheduled for release on March 17.

According to an email from PEJ’s director Tom Rosenstiel, this time around the report will include some new content:

  • A Year in the News, a comprehensive content analysis of 70,000 stories from 48 news outlets in five different media
  • A survey of a cross-section of journalists that reveals how they feel about the future of the profession
  • The view of the advertising industry from Madison Avenue
  • A content analysis study of 64 citizen media sites
  • Links to key industry statistics

Past reports have provided not only a snapshot of where the industry is now, but also informed predictions about what might happen in the year ahead. Whether you’re a newsroom veteran or a student journalist, you’ll want to mark your calendar and log on to journalism.org for the 2008 State of the News Media report on March 17.

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Digital news outlets expand

With news being displayed on screens in New York taxis and at gas pumps across the country, the latest entry in 24/7 news should come as no surprise. The Los Angeles Times is using digital billboards to reach drivers stuck in LA traffic. Times executive John O’Loughlin tells MediaWeek:

You’ll see messaging in the morning focused on what’s news in the morning’s paper. As the day progresses, we’ll be updating with things on the Web site. This is cool technology that reminds people we’re a 24/7 news and content organization.

The LA experiment marks the first time billboard owner Clear Channel has given an outside client direct access to its displays. The company made a 10-week deal with the Times that it hopes will be extended.

There’s some evidence that the billboard news briefs can push traffic (no pun intended) to the Web. According to Editor and Publisher, when the Times launched the billboards with entertainment news leading up to the Oscars, traffic at the paper’s “awards insider” Web site TheEnvelope.com was up 34 percent from a year ago.