Readers Looking for Real Context and Analysis Turn to News Magazines, not Facebook

fippinsightThey may get the majority of their daily news from social sites and digital feeds, but research shows that consumers need and want something more substantial, with greater context and understanding. And they trust weekly news magazines to provide that deeper understanding.

“That is why, generally speaking, weekend editions of quality newspapers or weekly magazines are holding up a bit better than weekday newspapers,” writes Jessica Patterson in FIPP. “News magazines are clearly doing very well. Circulations are fairly stable and they tend to have quite high subscription volumes and so on.”

“Despite the overabundance of information and content available on the internet, there is an appetite for news content from trusted news brands,” Patterson notes.

“There is something just that intuitively feels right about a digest on a weekly basis,” said Douglas McCabe from Enders Analysis, who notes that the 24 hour news cycle “in no way reduces the need, indeed, it could be argued it increases the need for a news provision that details the context, that provides commentary and analysis, that provides an authoritative view and opinion on what is happening and why it is happening.”

“The rapid pace and creation of news content online means people can be constantly up to date with events as they happen. However, having a detailed commentary, background, analysis or opinion on the event is not something people want to necessarily read every minute,” Patterson notes, citing McCabe.

“In short, opinion, reportage, analysis and wit still find a market,” notes The Guardian’s Peter Preston about recent UK news audit numbers.

This is welcome news, especially in light of concerns that Facebook is disrupting the journalism model at the most basic level. Yes, people get a lot of their news from the feeds, but this research shows us that, aside from the fast soundbite, they crave a more in-depth look at the news. And news magazines are perfectly positioned to provide just that.

“Independent researchers for years have discovered, time and time again, that magazine media are the most trusted, most influential, and motivating when compared against other media,” notes Susan Russ of the Association of Magazine Media.