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Five Key Reasons Why Newspapers Are Failing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by lcjjdnh, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Member

    Hadn't seen this posted anywhere. I apologize if it was:

    Part 1: http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/five-key-reasons-why-newspapers-are-failing
    Part 2: http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/five-key-reasons-why-newspapers-are-failing-pt-2
  2. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    I'm glad the Rolling Stones' former bass player cares so much about this.
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    So first we have a Columbia whiz kid regurgitating theories on how to save newspapers and then we get this guy telling us what we already know about the failure of newspapers.

    Please let me know when someone has an original idea.
  4. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    What original idea are you looking for? And who would listen? The point of Wyman's piece is that the monopolistic, anti-risk-taking culture of newsrooms made them sitting ducks for everything that has happened to them with the rise of the Internet.

    If this is "what we already know," newspapers wouldn't continue to make these same mistakes, over and over and over again. Or people wouldn't keep saying the problem is that newspapers aren't charging for content. Wyman's first point, and not an original idea, is that newspapers never, ever made money from circulation.
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    The biggest struggle facing newspapers is the same thing that hit the broadcast networks. You're dealing with a market of consumers who like to "choose" their news. If you find one channel too conservative, move down a dial. If you find one channel too liberal, move it up the dial. Want more sports coverage? Turn to ESPN. Most interested in biz new, CNBC or Bloomberg. Like the fluff? The cable dial is lousy with infotainment, celebrity news, food and home and garden. Newspapers just can't compete with the resources of an increasingly specialized media world. They are not longer gatekeepers. There are no longer gates.
  6. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member


    More people are reading the content of newspapers than ever. They've just developed the nasty habit of not paying for it.
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    They've never "paid for it" - advertisers have. But advertisers have more options that are more specific to the market they are trying to reach, and more tools available to connect with consumers.
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Geezus.....they've never paid for it? Shit, all those years I've walked into newsstands and laid down actual money for newspapers. Who knew?

    Advertisers have more options? Yes, they do. At least the ones who are still in business do, or the ones who still have an advertising budget. Montgomery Ward, which used to buy a lot of pages of newspaper space? Not so much any more. Same with the local Chevy dealer.

    You're so intent on dealing with circular logic that you miss the fundamental point: There is a bigger market than ever for the <i>content</i> that newspapers produce. The stupidity of the business side and the crumbling economy have delivered a pretty potent one-two punch.
  9. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Member

    Did you actually read the piece?
  10. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Newspapers have never charged readers the true cost of doing business, most circ income is at best one-third of total revenue.
    Agreed that it's a bigger market now and most newspapers aren't a whole pie any more in terms of their local market, but a much smaller slice. It's kind of hard to leverage a diminished position to increase advertising revenue.
    And while the overall market is bigger, so is the competition. I think the "more readers than ever" doesn't really matter until it translates into significant revenue growth. It hasn't yet online, and in fact hasn't kept up with the growth of readership.
  11. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I'm not commenting on the piece, I'm commenting on the post made by Mr. DanOregon, hence the use of the quote function.
  12. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Right. Which gets back to what I said in the first place: It's not the product that's failing, it's the business plan.
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