That’s one of the big takeaways in a study out Monday from the Project for Excellence in Journalism that has journalists and media junkies talking.
“In general, the shift to replace losses in print ad revenue with new digital revenue is taking longer and proving more difficult than executives want, and at the current rate most newspapers continue to contract with alarming speed,” the study said.
Executives interviewed for the study predicted “newsrooms will continue to shrink, more papers will close, and many surviving papers will deliver a print edition only a few days a week.”
Although it sounds all doom and gloom for newspapers, the study also highlighted some bright spots. The papers that bucked the downward trend are developing new sources of revenue.
“One of the papers generating the most digital revenue, for instance, was having significant success selling targeted digital advertising customized based on customer online behavior,” the study said. “This is projected to be the biggest growth area in local digital advertising.”
However, researchers also noted that most of the papers in the study had very little “smart” advertising.