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Old Media is not covering 2007’s much-sooner-than-expected tipping point in the great fall of newspapers 9/9/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.
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They’re still partying like it’s 1999 over at Editor & Publisher (E&P), America’s oldest newspaper trade journal. Ongoing criticism of the Iraq war and the Bush administration. Reporters and editors earning promotions. Investigative reporters who are being unfairly stymied or showered with awards. Just another day in journalism paradise.

So in our Orwellian news environment of today, for a clear-eyed view of the truth on the state of the newspaper industry, we must consult parties who are less personally-invested, like the notorious spin doctors of the public relations industry. As noted by Greeley’s Ghost, a stunning article appeared in the most recent PRWeek that tells us that Fitch Ratings began the year with a negative outlook for the newspaper industry but now, three-quarters of the way through, the news is much worse. The largest players have shed between one-sixth to one-quarter of their ad revenues. The Newspaper Industry of America is reporting a 9% industry-wide drop in ad revenues. “At that rate, papers will all be broke in three years,” the columnist adds. Worse still, Fitch Ratings tells us that the weak advertising market is “more secular than cyclical” — meaning that the most important sectors, like real estate and classified ads, are unlikely to swing back.

Now, it’s not completely fair to blame E&P for playing fiddle while its empire burns. After all, E&P did find this grim story sufficiently newsworthy to report, albeit by simply publishing Fitch’s findings at face value without PRWeek’s helpful analysis. That’s more than was done by industry-leading editors at the AP, NY Times, and Washington Post, who have not mentioned these alarming results at all. But E&P might want to consider offering its readers more valuable advice than another set of exit strategies from Iraq — and that is, exit strategies from print.

Comments»

1. william jonas - 9/10/07

I am a 73 year old American who has lived in several states and read many newspapers while buying and subscribing to The Detroit Free Press and News ( although I believe they are now merged) The Philadelphia Daily News, Wichita Falls Times -Record News,The Dallas Morning News , the Dallas Herald ,Fort Worth Star- Telegram and Corpus Christi Caller-Times. I use the Internet extensively and watch the evening news on Fox almost every evening.
I have fought the anger and urge to cancel my use and dependence on the daily paper. And I am pretty sure I and others are a rapidly dying( metaphorically speaking) breed. No news there, it has been pointed to emphatically for at least a decade.
Newspapers used to have an aura of honesty and trust worthiness. That was squandered 50 years ago. I still read the sports, comics and op-eds. But I don’t trust a thing they print anymore. Even the sports section is suspect.
What all of the newspapers I listed above have in common is their alignment with and their advocacy of leftism. The editorial and political position of the vast majority of newspapers is left wing democratic /socialist. Of course they try to deny it but it is glaringly obvious.Their objectivity is gone .Replaced by disguised subjectivity and bias. I tolerate it because of my long established habit.
I think there will always be newspapers but their influence and importance will continue to dwindle . Subsequently they will become like the Enquirer and yellow rag journals found in the check out lane . They may have some local flavor but they will have reached their level of entropy.

2. Steve Boriss - 9/10/07

William, You are not alone. You are a victim of a newspaper market that did not feel it had to compete for your business. In the next few years, you will find several news outlets on the web with which you will feel comfortable, and that will meet all the needs for which you bought a newspaper.

3. QwkDrw - 9/10/07

William, your ideas are validated also by my observations. Next case — Network television. Opening statement for the prosecution …


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