By: Victoria Sobolev
With the invention of the penny press, news became accessible and affordable to the common man for the first time. To keep profits high, while still cost-efficient for audiences, newspapers had to turn elsewhere for their funding. Newspapers partnered with advertising.
The relationship between the news and advertising became more complex with the invention of radio and television. News and advertising continued to become available on multiple platforms. The relationship remained steady until the 2000s, when the Internet took hold. Even more media outlets were giving way for products, and advertising had to break it to the news – its long-time girlfriend – that their relationship was changing. The newspaper industry also saw the effects of new media.
Prompted by the recession of 2008, newspaper advertising revenues continued to decrease, while online advertising began to increase. Adding insult to injury, television was also hit. Once able to target audiences of all ages, television now primarily reaches audiences 49 and up.
Online advertising may be the medium that can save the relationship between news and advertising, but even that glimmer of hope is fading. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, “even the top news websites in the country have had little success getting advertisers from traditional platforms to move online.” News websites do not provide the versatility for online advertising that other websites do. Therefore, they are less likely to get business from the advertising industry.
The issues stemming from alternative media have affected the long-term relationship news and advertising once had. While this couple will remain together for an indefinite period of time, the dynamic has completely changed.