Monday, June 07, 2010

In This Months Business Monthly

The economic plight of daily newspapers should be of concern to everyone. With declining revenues from paid circulation, classified advertising and display advertising, the ability of the papers to provide good journalism is being seriously threatened. In a world where journalists are compensated on a pay per click basis deep coverage of important topics is being supplanted by shallow coverage of celebrity travails and pop politics.

Two things bought this into very clear focus for me last month. First I had the occasion to assist a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter working on a series about the growth of the defense intelligence community in our area. The reporter has been working on this series since summer; a rare occurrence in today’s decimated newsrooms. Second, in the New York Times Magazine last month, Andrew Rice wrote an article entitled “Putting a Price on Words” that delved deeply into the online economics of journalism. The picture he paints isn’t very pretty.

You can read this month’s column here.


noo said...

comments not posting - test.

noo said...

Ok. Comments are working.

I'm so glad you brought this up because there is very little that I like more than to get on a soap box to powerful people about the error of their ways and how their very bent is ruining what is coveted above all else.

Stop editorializing in the news!

Simple, right?

The expectation of readers is that they're getting something that a person worked hard on researching and making palatable. Instead what readers get is regurgitated press releases. Stop doing that and put a little elbow grease into fact finding. Goodness sakes, periodicals human resources! The guys on youtube and blogs are doing a better job at getting facts out there. The problem is that their facts aren't always checked.

So far we have:

1) too much slanted news reporting
2) too much fluff

Bob O said...

As a former print journalist, I'm of two minds on this.

1. You can't survive in the marketplace. Evolve or die.

2. The "Fourth Estate" serves an exceptional role in our democracy, and needs to continue to keep people "honest."

So, how will print journalist adapt...or die off and be replaced bloggers?

Don't be a dinosaur.

Bob O said...

Read your column. Welcome to 1999.

You...and others...didn't see this coming?

It's a conundrum....daily newspapers, ho hum. Keeping an eye on government, business, and the world in general...the money is not there....but the user interest is...thus, the blogger. Expect the Sun to crumble in a year or two, the NYT in three to five years, when they run out of money. Then they'll be gone.

The Wall Street Journal? You'll have to pay money to read their stuff....oh, that's what they do now.

It's a very exciting time in publications. Glad to see you're part of it. Stop relying on the Sun and build a network of people who can actually witness Howard County news.