June 30, 2008

In "Survival Mode," Newspapers Slashing Jobs
— Ace

Sector outlook: "Grim."

Instapundit says he doesn't have much "glee" about this. I have a lot more. It's true that news is important.

On the other hand, those who have been delivering the news to us have been doing a rotten -- and deliberately so -- job. People don't trust them; they recognize they are by and large an owned-and-operated subsidiary of the DNC's communications department.

It's a good thing when bad businesses die. It clears the way for good businesses to enter the field.

Posted by: Ace at 01:53 PM | Comments (50)
Post contains 97 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of cretins....I despise the MSM...the most ideological hateful bunch of assholes...that they held sway and could make the general public believe what they found to be newsworthy for so many years is sickening.

Posted by: Jaded at June 30, 2008 02:03 PM (6RfTN)

2 I havent had a newspaper subscription in over 6 yrs.  Havent read one since the last time i traveled.  we dont need em anymore.

Posted by: unclezeb at June 30, 2008 02:04 PM (/DoLk)

3 A few things. Firstly, I think that the newspaper and journalism world became its own community with exclusion of others - and since we all are interested in - unless we purposely do otherwise - the news that those in our community are interested in. When objectivity was replaced with advocacy, they became circle-jerks. They of course could never be OBJECTIVE advocates, since objectivity don't matter. (That would have still been bad, but anyway..) Thus irrelevancy was inevitable.

I think we do need newspapers; but it will take a long time before we get them back. I hope one day to be able to subscribe to a good one, and also one that doesn't have crappy comics, too.

Posted by: RiverC at June 30, 2008 02:09 PM (UazOs)

4 The faster the mainstream newspaper die the better. Citizens will  once again  be allow to think and question important issues.

Posted by: jdun at June 30, 2008 02:12 PM (iZtK6)

5 Maybe, just maybe, in their last dying gasp they'll finally realize how they screwed up. Maybe.

Posted by: GarandFan at June 30, 2008 02:32 PM (eJ32B)

6 Nope. They will never admit it. Well, maybe, just maybe, they might admit it to themselves just as the sword came down on their necks.

Posted by: vanderleun at June 30, 2008 03:23 PM (s0k8A)

7 "People don't trust them; they recognize they are by and large an owned-and-operated subsidiary of the DNC's communications department." They are also large corporate structures. As good old Milt said, the two enemies of free enterprise are big government and big business. The two like to collude to limit competition. We (the right) should not be throwing away half of Milt's argument just because the political opposition points it out. Would you rather have anti-trust oversight limiting media consolidation, or the fairness doctrine? The choice seems clear to me.

Posted by: LiveFreeOrDie at June 30, 2008 05:29 PM (wVl3j)

8 The problem with balanced reporting has been driven by structural changes. It's silly (respectfully) to expect a power structure not to be subverted if subverting it will give advantage. The entire US constitution is based upon this basic principle. So what we've seen, I think, is that as structural changes to the US constitution have occurred - such as the 17th amendment - the basic power distribution of the system has moved toward one of centralizing control. And so the papers tend to report from that slant. Restore structural mechanisms for balancing central with local control, and you will see the return of the two paper town (even if now digital), and overall balanced reporting.

Posted by: LiveFreeOrDie at June 30, 2008 05:47 PM (wVl3j)

9 I don't know if I feel "glee" exactly. But I am getting a tingle up my leg. 

Posted by: runninrebel at June 30, 2008 06:02 PM (0n9wc)

10 Now, that's just too damn bad, isn't it?

Posted by: exdem13 at June 30, 2008 06:16 PM (fenBi)

11 fuck em. They've been killing other industries and sectors with their biased sputum.  The only bad thing is these people have few other marketable skillz, and will likely live on the public dole

Posted by: Frank G at June 30, 2008 06:21 PM (P0rQD)

12
Oh, I feel glee. Very definitely. Lots of glee.

Posted by: Steve (aka Ed Snate) at June 30, 2008 06:22 PM (AZwSr)

13 Remember the glory days of Vietnam?  If I had half the mojo I had back then, we'd have lost this war, dammit!

Posted by: MSM at June 30, 2008 06:27 PM (ltwze)

14 We have a subscription to the local rag....but honestly, only for the coupons.

Posted by: Stinky Esposito at June 30, 2008 06:31 PM (NWFxC)

15 Stinky -- you can download coupons for cheaper than the cost of a newspaper subscription.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at June 30, 2008 06:37 PM (W9lfm)

16 We had a cute little local paper for a while, keeping us up with local news. Then they started pontificating about national affairs, of course from the asshole left perspective. Canceled our subscription. A couple years later and they are just about out of business now.

Posted by: joe at June 30, 2008 06:38 PM (YcIuv)

17 Stinky -- you can download coupons for cheaper than the cost of a newspaper subscription.

I do that, as well.  But some offers are available in print, and the few bucks a week for the Post-Disgrace I can easily get back on groceries each week.  Plus I get the store circulars.

That said, most days the rest of the paper goes right in the recycling bin.

Posted by: Stinky Esposito at June 30, 2008 06:45 PM (NWFxC)

18 Good riddance.  Waste of trees.  All they ever had to be was impartial, but they dumped their crap into the mix.  Worse, they never even saw their own bias.  I have to give credit, in my case, to Neal Boortz who 25 years ago opened my eyes for the first time to the bullshit they were dumping on all of us.  Thank God for the rise of blogs and talk radio and Fox!

Posted by: Davey at June 30, 2008 06:49 PM (yfL6L)

19 Well, the print media in this country would be doing a lot better if they covered the stories that actually matter.

Women's Topless Beach Soccer

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at June 30, 2008 07:05 PM (Ds4I5)

20 Here in my burg, I've tried to cancel the crappy Chicago Sun-Times twice - I haven't paid for it in years, and it still finds its way to my house...I'm sure this is still counted in their (dwindling) distribution numbers ...

What a POS.  After the Steyn debacle, the rag lost all value (except maybe 80% of the cartoons...)

Posted by: apb at June 30, 2008 07:06 PM (GMTYT)

21 All most of the papers need is a guy who can cut and paste the DNC talking points into a daily layout. You wouldn't think their expenses would be that great.

Posted by: Ted K. at June 30, 2008 07:26 PM (Zvr96)

22

Good, good and good.

No more editorials masquerading as "front page news items"

No more intentional downplaying of good economic news

No more subtle glorifying of the enemy

No more propaganda

Posted by: TMF at June 30, 2008 07:28 PM (/YM8H)

23

All most of the papers need is a guy who can cut and paste the DNC talking points into a daily layout. You wouldn't think their expenses would be that great.

So true. A lot of papers are little more than an AP feed + phone-it-in editorials + sports scores + ads. A web page could do all of this better and cheaper.

Posted by: Maetenloch at June 30, 2008 07:33 PM (hn7Rm)

24 As much as we'd all like to think newspapers are going out of business because people are sick of their lefty slant, the contention is not well supported by the evidence.  First of all, it was always that way and not enough people cared to affect the business.  People get a lot more out of newspapers than just the news - opinion columnists, crossword, comics... hell, some people still get closing stock prices from the paper.  You may get pissed off and want to cancel the paper, but if that's where the wife gets the crossword and the week's activities you may be out of luck.

Your subscription never actually paid the cost of producing the paper.  They were lucky to cover printing costs.  The rest of the paper was really there to support the ads, and especially the real moneymaker:  classified ads.  What's putting these people out of business is craigslist.

It may be the industry gets reborn in a form more palatable to conservatives, but I don't see how they can make the money end work.  How will they get people to pay for news collection when you can't copyright the news?

In the end I'll bet the only thing that survives in physical form are those free "neighborhood" papers with the gay personals and ads for escort services ("get a personal massage in your own home!") .

Posted by: Ace's liver at June 30, 2008 07:53 PM (XIXhw)

25

I'd hope the weakness of the newpaper business is due to ideological bias, but frankly I'd doubt that's any more than a minor factor in their downfall - it's a contributing factor, but not the whole story.

Inaccurate and imcomplete reporting on the other hand may be a bigger factor. 

Newspapers are in a serious cost squeeze - paper, ink, labor, energy and delivery costs are escalating, meanwhile advertising revenue is dropping because the "new media" are gradually taking more and more of the advertising bucks.

I think a major reason there's a decline is that fewer people have a lifestyle in which newspapers are usable and relevant.  The number of people who have 30 to 60 minutes to read a newspaper is rapidly declining.

They also cannot deliver news quickly like the internet - they have no means to be able to customize content for a specific person.

We are in a time of both lifestyle and technology changes , which the standard print media will struggle against as an old technology.

Newspapers are only the first to go.  Magazines and books will follow.

Posted by: Dr Bob at June 30, 2008 08:38 PM (EZTZx)

26 The "news sector" is not really dying. 

It committed suicide a while ago.  Well, at least it tried, but it bungled that too.  Now its just a vegetable on life support waiting for someone to pull the plug.

Its just a matter of time....

Posted by: MLKJrJrHS at June 30, 2008 08:47 PM (RLBRw)

27 Advertising is killing the papers, and the internet is stealing much of the advertising. But, like many things, there is a dialectical relationship with subscriptions and advertising. If they could keep their readership intact, advertisers would subsidize the papers. But the papers can't.

It simply isn't worth the five dollars for the Sunday edition of the NYTs (or whatever) for the content they provide. The original reporting is thin and frankly not usual or desirable to a vast cross section of the population. I wouldn't think about subscribing to the NYTs; with the bias it would be as perverse as subscribing to, say, Vogue.

The NYTs is shrinking to the level of demand for that type of 'news', so they attract that much advertising revenue, and that's why it costs so much per paper, and that's why so many people are leaving.

Ideology has costs, too. Nothing is immune from economics.

Posted by: Vercingetorix at June 30, 2008 09:07 PM (V/FgT)

28

From a speech Michael Chrichton gave in 1993:

"The media has treated information the way John D. Rockefeller treated oil - as a commodity, in which the distribution network, rather than product quality, is of primary importance. But once people can get the raw data themselves, that monopoly ends. And that means big changes, soon."

http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-mediasaurus.html

Posted by: maxman at June 30, 2008 09:29 PM (OYeDg)

29

Ace, you should consider writing a column or two and submitting it for publication on other sites, like Townhall or the National Review or whatever.  You're the conservative blogger of the year.  Ya know?

Posted by: Dogstar at June 30, 2008 10:16 PM (FgxdU)

30 I once made the mistake of contacting editors at my local paper to correct a smear.

They assured me that a correction would run.  It never did.

I hope that paper goes bankrupt.

Posted by: Daryl Herbert at June 30, 2008 10:47 PM (YvLui)

31 Ace's liver & Dr Bob

Verily, but the Schadenfreude tastes just as sweet. The fact that the average newspaper hack won't be handsomely paid for acting as a self-righteous gatekeeper of current events is sweet music, music that sounds like thousands of egos being ground to bits.


Posted by: adamthemad at June 30, 2008 10:51 PM (FBhoV)

32

It would be a shame to lose newspapers. If someone wants to take on a mob-type group or a very corrupt politician/public figure the newspaper gives them the support and protection to do it. It is also nice to have a paper to read. 

If the paper has the reputation of telling people what happened rather than what the people who edit the paper want people to think happened they should be able to stay in business. It does not really matter what the editors think belongs on the front page if pages 2-24 are solid. People, including me, are too picky about the MSM and do not pay enough attention to people who do their jobs well.

Posted by: bleh at June 30, 2008 11:41 PM (GNCy6)

33

Let's hope that as the "bad businesses" die off, new entrants emerge to replace them. Just now, the prospects are unfavorable to printed-news outlets, for a host of reasons.

Possibly the change that would make the greatest difference would be the cultivation of traditional journalism staffs by the online presences. We have a few already -- AP, UPI, AFP -- but they're part of the problem rather than a solution to it. New investigative staffs that practice objective on-the-scene journalism and reportage would be a great improvement on the current state of affairs for many reasons. If their offerings were attractively priced, they could fertilize all sorts of news organs.

Many people do prefer to read printed news media. It would be a shame were they to die out altogether.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at July 01, 2008 12:36 AM (GY/ii)

34 They're the deciders. They decided this. Far be it from me to stand in their way.

Posted by: VRWC Agent at July 01, 2008 04:17 AM (Z3AmO)

35 I canceled my subscription to the hard core Bolshevik Palm Beach Post some months ago because I was very unhappy with their politics. 

They recently announced massive layoffs which made me very happy.

Bottom line is the 1st amendment doesn't guarantee them a revenue stream or audience.  If they piss people off, they're going to lose customers.  The sooner they realize that my business isn't an entitlement, the better off they'll be.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 01, 2008 07:55 AM (dcqty)

36 Oh, and they've been harassing me several times a week with telemarketers trying to get me to come back.  Fucking retards -- you can't harass people into doing business with you.  That just pisses'em off even more.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 01, 2008 07:57 AM (dcqty)

37 Watergate was the worst thing that happened to this market segment because it provided an instant attraction to the "save the world" types who weren't smart enough to become lawyers, and they crowded out the types who just wanted to objectively report the facts.  Too bad but I'm sure there were a lot of nice guys in the buggy whip bidness.

Posted by: Captain Hate at July 01, 2008 08:12 AM (6FjBP)

38

All of the above are contributing factors to the demise of newspapers but what this is also signifying is the end of the baby boomer era. 

Any business that depended on the behavior of the baby boomers is going to feel the sting...it's just cause and effect.

Posted by: D4v3Y at July 01, 2008 09:42 AM (g0XUL)

39

Posted by: apb at June 30, 2008 07:06 PM (GMTYT)

I miss the comics too.  80% of yours were worth reading?  Lucky.  Less than half the last time we got a paper.

A newspaper has worth only as something to put under pumpkins when carving them.  That's it.  Luckily, the weekly community paper is free and we just need to keep a couple of them for that.

Posted by: TomJW at July 01, 2008 10:13 AM (xRCpL)

40

I don’t think newspapers are dying so much for the left/liberal bias, as they die for PRETENDING that they don’t have a left/liberal bias.

Obviously, the growth of internet news and other news sources means that newspapers are consolidating. Few cities have more than one substantial newspaper anymore. But this is also because people are sick and tired of "newspapers" that pretend objectivity, but have none.

I think American newspapers will have to follow the British model: admit they have a point of view, and defend it. It is understood in the UK that the Telegraph is independent-rightist, the Times (London) A Tory house organ, the Guardian a Labour house organ, and the Daily Mirror is independent-left (borderline tabloid, that one, but let’s not quibble). And in that country, people often subscribe to two or more newspapers and compare and contrast.

Let’s just look at cable news. Isn’t it given that CNN is more left/liberal, save for a few mavericks like Glenn Beck, and Fox News is more right/conservative, save for a few like Geraldo or Colmes?

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if, say the San Diego Union Tribune or the Orange County Register openly chose to be the right/republican house organ for SoCal, and the LA Times conceeded openly that it was the left/democrat party house organ? People could actually buy BOTH newspapers and compare and contrast.

Meanwhile, in NorCal, it is no surprise that the McClatchy papers (The Bees) acquired the Knight-Ridder papers (Mercury News), and that circulation for both papers declines. How many left/liberal papers can an area with less population than Los Angeles support?

You know, if the ghost of Mr. Hearst could speak, he would be telling the dolts who run the Chronicle to take a hard right tack. Admittedly this would be hard to do in San Fransicko, but with the Bee and Mercury News basically echoing the same point of view, the left/liberal point of view is basically tapped out in the North.

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