May 1, 2015 Last Updated 9:28 am

Morgan Freeman is apparently not a fan of cable news; first look at Pew’s State of the Media report

Latest newspaper circulation data shows a return to declines, though only modestly; advertising trends, though, remain alarming

The nice thing about an actor is that you get to say what you want, with rarely anyone creating a commercial twisting your words (like a politician). So, if you want to say “fuck the media” you can say “fuck the media” and everyone simply moves on.

Freeman-660Morgan Freeman is the latest to give his opinion of the media business – really, the cable news business – telling The Daily Beast in an interview promoting his latest film Five Flights Up what he thought about recent coverage of the violence in Baltimore.

“Look at MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN,” Freeman said. “It’s just commentary. CNN wants to be pure news, but the others are just commentary. They’re just commenting on things.”

“Anyway, off the media,” he insisted. “Fuck the media.”

The irony is that I see CNN, MSNBC and Fox News as less part of the media business, and more part of the entertainment business – in other words, Freeman’s business. I don’t see The New York Times rushing to snatch away those who work at either outlet. It’s not news at these cable channels, its entertainment. Entertainment that tries to reach a desired audience to attract advertising. Fox News has its audience pretty well pegged, just as Friends or The Office had theirs. CNN and MSNBC, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out how to replicate the Murdoch approach, but for a less right-wing audience (I personally don’t think it can be done).

So, yes, fuck the media! That is, if by media you mean cable news channels.

Earlier this week the Pew Research Center released its State of the Media report and I think this year’s report didn’t get as much attention due to the fact that what it found is pretty much common knowledge at this point. That doesn’t mean that the report is not filled with tremendous information, of course.

Pew compiles information from a wide array of sources, and puts it in useful articles for each area area of the media world. Its chart on newspaper circulation trends, for instance, is especially nice (and I like that it can be embedded):

But the circulation numbers really didn’t move much last year, so it one really needs to look for many years, which Pew does. But the numbers for advertising are more stark, as you can see below:

Pew does an outstanding job each year compiling its report – and best of all, its home page for the report also shows last year’s report for those wishing to go deeper into the data and compare trends. Find the home page here. TNM will look at other areas of the report through next week.

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