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Most Americans say they pay for news

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Since the election, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Tronc, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Gannett have all reported jumps in subscriptions. Now a new study from the AP NORC Center and American Press Institute finds that a majority of Americans (53%) pay for news, and of those, a majority (54%) subscribe to newspapers in print or online.

Why it matters: A surge in subscription numbers across all types of newspapers, combined with the recent AP/API report, dispel the notions that people are unwilling to pay for news and that people are abandoning newspaper coverage. The report also found a clear association also between trust of news sources and paying for news.

The downside: Subscription revenue is still a long way from replacing plunging ad revenue.

Key takeaways:

  • Uptick in subscriptions is bipartisan: A surge in subscriptions from both newspapers that lean left editorially (NYT) and right (WSJ) show that the desire to pay for reliable coverage exists regardless of party affiliation.
  • If newspapers want to charge more, now is the time to do it: According to the AP/API study, those who currently pay for a subscription tend to think it is relatively inexpensive. Only 10% of people think their subscription costs too much for what they get.
  • A willingness to pay for news exists at all age ranges: A breakdown of subscribers by age shows that people of all ages are willing to pay for news, but not surprisingly, digital subscription purchases sway much younger.
Data: The Media Insight Project, survey conducted Feb. 16-March 20, 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
Steve LeVine 6 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

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Trump, Sessions & GOP lawmakers to meet about sanctuary cities

Jeff Sessions claps behind Donald Trump's blurry profile at a speech
Attorney General Jeff Sesssions, Donald Trump, Melania Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty

The White House is hosting a roundtable on sanctuary cities Tuesday afternoon with the President, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security, Republican lawmakers and others, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Conservatives tried to use this week’s massive government spending bill to cut federal funds from sanctuary cities, but they failed, according to sources involved in the process. But Trump officials want to use Tuesday’s event to highlight the issue and put pressure on cities that don't comply with federal immigration law enforcement.