Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

April 2002

Publication Source

The Chronicle Review


After two decades of declining news audiences, decreasing newspaper circulation, and increasing uneasiness over the blurring of public-affairs and entertainment media, the heightened ratings for television news in the wake of September's terrorist attacks came as a relief to many observers. Journalists, especially, saw it as reassuring evidence that, when it really mattered, Americans still turned to them.

However, that increased audience has largely dissipated, and even a closer look at the patterns of news-media consumption at the peak of the crisis suggests that journalists are whistling past the graveyard if they conclude that Americans rely on them as much as in the past.


NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Michael Delli Carpini was affiliated with Columbia University. Currently January 2008, he is a faculty member at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 09 January 2008