FORTUNE -- The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism's report, "The State of the News Media 2013" contains plenty of grim news about an industry that appears in some respects to be falling apart at the seams (along with a few rays of hope). But it also offers a few notable tidbits about the state of the online-advertising business:
While there are some signs of hope for the news media, the incursion of digital giants into the ad business -- particularly in local ads -- continues to diminish hopes that local and regional news organizations will see new growth in advertising revenue, which remains anemic at best. "Once again, in key revenue areas, it appears the news industry may have been outflanked by technology giants," the report states.
About 450 newspaper sites have erected paywalls, which have seen some success, but which are still far from proving to be a panacea for the industry. According to the report, the "rise of digital paid content could also have a positive impact on the quality of journalism as news organizations strive to produce unique and high-quality content that the public believes is worth paying for."
Coincidentally providing a case in point, Time magazine -- which like Fortune is owned by Time-Warner (TWX) -- says its March 4 issue featuring a 25,000-word report explaining why health care costs so much appears on track to being the magazine's top-selling issue in nearly two years, selling more than double the magazine's usual. Crucially (and perhaps somewhat surprisingly), the article apparently appealed as much to younger people as to older ones: It was shared 100 times more on social media than Time's average for 2013.
The question now is whether it is sinking in with print-news executives that people are hungry for serious, deeply reported coverage of public affairs, and that journalism aimed at mass audiences, such as celebrity coverage and other fluff, is best left to TV and to publications that specialize in such material.
Apple and Time Inc. struck a deal, and the per-issue price fell from $4.99 overnight
Here's a window into the economics of magazine publishing.
Monday's Wall Street Journal reports that Time Inc. (TWX) and Apple (AAPL) have reached an agreement to allow subscribers of Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated to get digital versions of their magazines on the iPad for free.
The deal breaks an impasse that dates back to high-level meetings Steve MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 2, 2011 7:28 AM ET
This week's People app is free to subscribers. Time, SI and Fortune are expected to follow
There's more to the iPad issue of People that appeared on the Apple (AAPL) App Store this morning than Sandra Bullock's new joy.
This People app may also signal the end of a four-and-a-half-month impasse that put the digital dreams of every major magazine publisher on hold.
Until now, the iPad versions of People, Time, Sports Illustrated MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 19, 2010 1:33 PM ET
But like the rest of Time Inc.'s publications, it's stuck in subscription limbo
As someone who labored for nearly 30 years in the Time/Life Building -- at Time mostly, followed by a shorter stint at Fortune -- I have a vested interest in seeing the magazines that come out it survive and, if possible, prosper in the digital age.
So it's with mixed feelings that I opened the inaugural edition of Fortune MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 30, 2010 11:32 AM ET
The tech world turns its attention to San Francisco to see what Steve Jobs has up his sleeve
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts was buzzing Tuesday afternoon with black-shirted Apple staffers hauling in electronics, heavy-set security guys guarding the perimeter, TV satellite trucks jockeying for position and workers on a crane plastering the entrance way with the event's signature paint-spattered logo.
The economy may be sputtering, Bin Laden may be MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 26, 2010 8:12 PM ET
"Secret" talks with publishers appear within hours in the Wall Street Journal
Here's some free advice for Silicon Valley companies visiting New York City: Don't say anything to a newspaper or book publishing executive that you wouldn't want to see on a front page the next day.
Case in point: Details of Apple's (AAPL) eleventh-hour "secret" negotiations with publishers, which Bookseller.com and 9to5 Mac reported on Wednesday morning, turned up Wednesday evening MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 20, 2010 8:31 PM ET
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