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Monday, October 26, 2009

Why Our News Is Different

It's a double-dose of reality for the news media today.

First -- the news that the circulation of major newspaper dailies is down 10% in the last six months compared to the same period a year ago. Only The Wall Street Journal is up -- and just barely.

Then -- the news that the trailblazer of cable news is now also the straggler. CNN will come in last in the ratings race for October, falling not only behind its more opinion-driven competitors Fox News and MSNBC, but even its own sister network HLN (formerly Headline News).

The challenge facing all of these news organizations is not so much the internet or the new and social media offshoots thereof -- though the need to evolve is very real. The truth is that in today's intensely saturated environment, there are still too many news organizations covering the same topics and fighting for the same audiences. It's pretty clear to me that the news organizations that will not only survive, but thrive, are those which can carve out a niche, where no one else can compete.

These new realities reaffirm why we do what we do here at Gallup.com. Quite simply, we do what no one else can do -- which is to provide empirical, rather than anecdotal, insights on the news of the moment. Put more simply, we let our data drive our news. Data that no one else has. That's why at Gallup.com, every lead has a data point, and every story has a graph.

We don't want you to visit Gallup.com instead of visiting other news sources. We want you to visit Gallup.com in addition to your favorite news sources. It's perfectly fine with us if you turn somewhere else for context and background, and then come to us for the data or empirical evidence to complete the picture.

Gallup.com is, in many ways, just the type of unique news source that the internet makes possible. In the past, Gallup conducted polls, provided the results to journalists, and hoped to make the news cycle. Now, we're thrilled to be able to provide our news directly to you -- the discerning news consumer looking for a different -- or additional -- take on the news, rather than more of the same.

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