US newspaper circulation slumps to ‘lowest since 1945’ despite some digital gains – study

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Though digital subscriptions are surging for the largest US newspapers, estimated industry circulation and revenue fell overall, the Pew Research Center found. Americans now read newspapers at levels not seen since 1945, but there’s growth in cable news.

Among the findings are US newspaper circulation, including print and digital, fell 8 percent in 2016 for both weekday and Sunday editions to 35 million and 38 million readers, respectively, the study estimates.

“[T]he lowest levels since 1945,” Pew said, in its annual study on the “state of the news media,” released Thursday.

Weekday print circulation decreased 10 percent and Sunday newspaper readership fell 9 percent.

“Newspapers are a critical part of the American news landscape, but they have been hard hit as more and more Americans consume news digitally,” Pew said. “The industry’s financial fortunes and subscriber base have been in decline since the early 2000s, even as website audience traffic has grown for many. Meanwhile, alt-weekly papers have also seen their circulation drop.”

Pew stated that digital circulation is more difficult to gauge, it estimated trends to be fairly flat, with weekday down 1 percent and Sunday up 1 percent.

“Following last year’s presidential election, some major US newspapers reported a sharp jump in digital subscriptions, giving a boost to their overall circulation totals,” Pew researcher Michael Barthel said in a statement. “The newspaper industry as a whole, however, faced ongoing challenges in 2016.”

The primary reason is that “more and more Americans consume news digitally,” the report explained.

Among the study’s other findings are that three of the largest US daily newspapers reported a jump in digital subscriptions, with the New York Times adding more than 500,000 digital subscriptions in 2016, a 47 percent rise; the Wall Street Journal added more than 150,000 digital subscriptions, a 23 percent rise; and the Chicago Tribune added about 100,000 weekly digital circulation, a 76 percent year-on-year gain.

In a commentary on WGBH in 2016, Dan Kennedy, an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University, said the biggest obstacle for attracting readers is that customers are already paying hundreds of dollars a month for broadband, cell service and their various digital devices.

Total estimated circulation revenue for US newspaper industry was $11 billion in 2016, on par w/ 2015 

“It’s not crazy for them to think that the content should come included with that, as it does (for the most part) with their monthly cable bill,” said Kennedy. “Those who wag their fingers that newspapers never should have given away their content overlook the reality that customers had none of those extra expenses back when their only option was to pay for the print edition.”

Kennedy said the paywalls also interfere with how people now consume news, skipping around the internet, checking with multiple sources.

“To wall off content runs contrary not just to what news consumers want but to the sharing culture of the internet,” he added.

Pew said circulation data is estimated because the industry has stopped releasing data about print editions, and there are varying standards in reporting digital readership.
Revenues also demonstrate a downward trend.

Total estimated newspaper industry advertising revenue for 2016 was $18 billion, a decrease of 10 percent from 2015, and just one-third the level of 10 years ago, based on Pew’s analysis for financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies.

Circulation revenue was estimated at $11 billion, largely unchanged from 2015.

For cable news, 2016 was a year of strong gains, and became “the destination for political news,” especially in 2016 during the presidential election, Pew found.

“These channels have generally set themselves apart from other news media by their comparatively robust business model,” Pew said.

Its analysis of Nielsen Media data found that viewership increased for cable news channels in 2016 in prime time by 55 percent to 4.8 million viewers.

Total revenue across the three major channels, Fox, CNN and MSNBC, was projected to increase by 19 percent in 2016, to a total of nearly $5 billion, according to Pews’s analysis of SNL Kagan data.
The three channels were projected to grow their profits in 2016, a combined 29 percent.

Revenue for three major financial networks (CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg) saw increases in total and license fee revenue, while ad revenue was flat.

Cable news could take a hit in 2017 as a new poll released on May 24 showed that nearly two-thirds of US voters believe that the mainstream media is producing so-called “fake news.”

Many also believe that fake news is purposely published to push an agenda. Fox News appears to be hurt the most by viewers’ mistrust.

From 2015 to 2016 license fee revenue for the three major financial networks grew from $699M to $757M 

Across the political spectrum, 65 percent of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media, including 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats, according to the latest Harvard-Harris poll provided exclusively to The Hill. In total, 84 percent of voters said it is hard to know what news to believe online.

Those numbers have increased since the end of March, when six in 10 Americans believed the mainstream media report fake news regularly or occasionally, with 54 percent thinking that online news websites report fake stories on purpose to push an agenda, according to a Monmouth University poll. A whopping 80 percent of respondents believed that online outlets report fake news regularly or occasionally.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist


When the World Is Led by a Child

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President Trump in Washington on Monday. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big business corporatist.

But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things.

At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.

First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. Trump’s answers in these interviews are not very long — 200 words at the high end — but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him.

His inability to focus his attention makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. He is ill informed about his own policies and tramples his own talking points. It makes it hard to control his mouth. On an impulse, he will promise a tax reform when his staff has done little of the actual work.

Second, most people of drinking age have achieved some accurate sense of themselves, some internal criteria to measure their own merits and demerits. But Trump seems to need perpetual outside approval to stabilize his sense of self, so he is perpetually desperate for approval, telling heroic fabulist tales about himself.

“In a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care,” he told Time. “A lot of the people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber,” he told The Associated Press, referring to his joint session speech.

By Trump’s own account, he knows more about aircraft carrier technology than the Navy. According to his interview with The Economist, he invented the phrase “priming the pump” (even though it was famous by 1933). Trump is not only trying to deceive others. His falsehoods are attempts to build a world in which he can feel good for an instant and comfortably deceive himself.

He is thus the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence. Trump thought he’d be celebrated for firing James Comey. He thought his press coverage would grow wildly positive once he won the nomination. He is perpetually surprised because reality does not comport with his fantasies.

Third, by adulthood most people can perceive how others are thinking. For example, they learn subtle arts such as false modesty so they won’t be perceived as obnoxious.

But Trump seems to have not yet developed a theory of mind. Other people are black boxes that supply either affirmation or disapproval. As a result, he is weirdly transparent. He wants people to love him, so he is constantly telling interviewers that he is widely loved. In Trump’s telling, every meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes but his guests stayed two hours because they liked him so much.

Which brings us to the reports that Trump betrayed an intelligence source and leaked secrets to his Russian visitors. From all we know so far, Trump didn’t do it because he is a Russian agent, or for any malevolent intent. He did it because he is sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.

The Russian leak story reveals one other thing, the dangerousness of a hollow man.

Our institutions depend on people who have enough engraved character traits to fulfill their assigned duties. But there is perpetually less to Trump than it appears. When we analyze a president’s utterances we tend to assume that there is some substantive process behind the words, that it’s part of some strategic intent.

But Trump’s statements don’t necessarily come from anywhere, lead anywhere or have a permanent reality beyond his wish to be liked at any given instant.

We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.

“We badly want to understand Trump, to grasp him,” David Roberts writes in Vox. “It might give us some sense of control, or at least an ability to predict what he will do next. But what if there’s nothing to understand? What if there is no there there?”

And out of that void comes a carelessness that quite possibly betrayed an intelligence source, and endangered a country.

By David Brooks/NYTimes

Posted by The NON-Conformist

US immigrant population at record level, with Asians set to overtake Hispanics – study

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A new study finds that the immigrant population in the US has reached an all-time high, with more immigrants arriving from Asian countries than anywhere else. If the trend continues, Asians will make up a majority of immigrants in the US.

On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a study that used data from their previous statistical portraits of the immigrant population in the US from 1960 through 2015 in order to answer some questions about the current state of the immigrant population.

The data showed that while there were a record 43.2 million immigrants living in the US in 2015, there was a greater concentration of immigrants in the country in 1890, when 9.2 million immigrants comprised 14.8 percent of the total population.

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The immigrant population has been growing in the US since 1970, when they only made up 4.7 percent of the total population. The study cited the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act as the tipping point.

READ MORE: Mexican illegal immigrant population in US lowest since 2009 – study

The study shows that the majority of the immigrants in the country are legal, with 24 percent of the population considered “unauthorized.” That population tripled from 3.5 million in 1990 to an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007. That number dropped to 11 million by 2015, when unauthorized immigrants accounted for 3.4 percent of the total US population, according to the study.

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By origin country, immigrants from Mexico make up 27 percent of the total immigrant population, the largest population from any single country. In a distant second, immigrants from China and India each make up 6 percent of the immigrant population.

Asians, however, are predicted to become the largest immigrant population in the US by 2055, according to the study. In 2065, Asians are expected to make up 38 percent of the immigration population, while Hispanics will only account for 31 percent.

In 2015, India was the top origin country for immigrants arriving in the US, with 110,000 people coming to America that year. When taken by region, immigrants from south and east Asia make up 27 percent of all immigrants, the same share as Mexico.

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The study claims around 1 million immigrants arrive in the US each year, and they are projected to make up 88 percent of the population growth in the US through 2065 if current trends continue.

Nearly half of the immigrants living in the US reside in just three states, with 25 percent in California, 11 percent in Texas and 10 percent in New York. California had around 10.7 million immigrants in 2015, according to the study.

The majority of immigrants live in just 20 major cities, with the largest populations in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami.

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The study found that immigrants were less educated on average, but half of the immigrants over the age of five were considered “English proficient” in 2015, according to the Pew study.

Immigrants make up 17 percent of the total labor force, with 8 million unauthorized immigrants. Nearly half of the unauthorized immigrants work in either service or construction jobs.

Former President Barack Obama deported around 3 million immigrants between 2009 and 2016, more than former President George W. Bush, who deported 2 million between 2001 and 2008.

While the number of deportations went up slightly in 2016, Americans’ views of immigrants have significantly improved with the majority, 63 percent, saying immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents.” That same view was only held by 31 percent of Americans in 1994.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Hagan hits Obama on VA ahead of American Legion speech

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Posted by Libergirl

Drug smuggling ‘super tunnel’ found under US-Mexico border

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One of the most sophisticated drug smuggling tunnels ever built, featuring lighting and an underground railway system, has been discovered under the US-Mexico border


Photo by Reuters / ICE / Handout via Reuters


One of the most sophisticated tunnels, designed to smuggle drugs from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego, has been discovered by US authorities.
The 35 foot tunnel is equipped with lighting, ventilation and an electric rail system and is about four feet high and three feet wide.
US Attorney Laura Duffy called the passage a “super tunnel” built by architects and engineers.
“The discovery of today’s tunnel, which we call a super tunnel is the fifth super tunnel we have intercepted since 2010, and tunnel, like those we found in November 2011 were built by engineers and architects.”
Authorities seized 8 1/2 tons of marijuana and 327 pounds of cocaine in connection with the discovery.

Three men who authorities say worked as drivers were charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine with intent to distribute.
US Attorney Laura Duffy said they face minimum prison sentences of 10 years if convicted.
The tunnel, which zigzags the length of nearly six football fields, links warehouses in Tijuana and San Diego’s Otay Mesa industrial area.
The area is filled with nondescript warehouses, making it easier to conceal trucks being loaded with drugs.
Federal agents had the San Diego warehouse under surveillance after being tipped off by an informant.
As US border security has increased on land, Mexican drug cartels have turned to ultralight aircraft, small fishing boats and tunnels.
More than 75 underground passages have been discovered along the border since 2008, designed largely to smuggle marijuana.
The tunnel is the eighth major passage discovered in San Diego since 2006, a period during which Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel has solidified its hold on the prized smuggling corridor.

From The Telegraph

Posted by The NON-Conformist

9/11 Hero Firefighter Dies From Rare Lung Disease Contracted from WTC Dust

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A hero firefighter who bravely served on September 11th alongside hundreds of other first responders has died of a rare lung condition, and was laid to rest yesterday.
FDNY Lt Martin Fullam contracted polymyositis in 2005, and had also suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, which left him breathless and exhausted after the simplest of tasks.
The late firefighter, 56, was one of the men carrying fatally wounded FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge through the still-smoking rubble on 9/11.

More from Daily Mail

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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