Newspaper bane: Nobody reads the stories
So along with the change in reading habits, newspaper owners have to consider the change in the way people judge what to read.
"There is lots of interest … in people reading material [especially social media] by jumping into the 'flow' of information from time to time in the way that people might scoop up a pitcher of water from a river," said Pew's Rainie. "This makes sense to me and raises interesting questions about their strategies and the 'information gatekeepers' that are helping filter their information. 'Editors' of newspapers and other publications are certainly still very important, but peers in social networks are also rising in importance as they pass along articles from every conceivable kind of publishing platform."
—Allen Wastler is managing editor of CNBC Digital. He can be followed at AWastler@twitter.com.