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Study: Papers that invest in the newsroom make more money

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jersey_Guy, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Jersey_Guy

    Jersey_Guy Active Member

    Who'd have thunk the current model of offering less, less, less might now work:

  2. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member


  3. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Note that this "study" was done by U. of Missouri journalism dept., which is charged with developing journalists to work in and eventually run those newsrooms.

    You don't suppose there is ANY desire on the part of Mizzou folks to come out with a study that shows, in effect, that more of their graduates need to have newsroom jobs waiting for them?

    By the way, the article that is at this link is very superficial and tells nothing about the study's criteria or if all possible variables were given equal weight in determining the results.

    I doubt seriously this study met the threshhold of objective testing.
  4. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Exactly. As discussed here: http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/37668/
  5. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    who's side are you on anyway?
  6. zaphod

    zaphod New Member

    Alas, I, too, don't see much promise in this study, though I've read only the press release.

    This is no "cycle," and there is no "rebound" ahead, as if all we were talking about were a bad Christmas shopping season. It's not that advertisERS are temporarily withholding dollars; it's that advertisING has fundamentally shifted and scattered in million new directions -- online, satellite, email, cell, cable, specialty print, etc. And advertising is shifting because media habits are shifting -- away from print. Dont' fear that; just go where the readers are.

    The best reported, best written, best edited and best produced newspapers in America -- i.e., the ones with the greatest financial "investment" -- all are losing readership. They've been losing readers since the early 1970s, well before ownership began taking chunks of money out of newsrooms.

    This isn't cyclical. It's environmental.
  7. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    I'll Never---I'm on your side, trust me. I want to keep my newsroom job, too. It is a good one. But to get anyone to listen to this argument that the Mizzou study makes, it's going to need to come from a more objective source with a much more in-depth study. Don't just tell me that keeping newsrooms intact and investing more money in news will mean greater profits, run me some strong numbers to support that and which will withstand scrutiny.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    That's not true. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, which have the greatest investment in newsgathering, are stable because they offer what can't be found anywhere else and they offer a serious product for grownups.

    Not really. A lot of metros experienced tremendous growth during this period because either A.) their cities grew, B.) their competition died, or C.) both. You can say that readership nationally has been going down every year since the 1970s and you'd be right. But individually most top metros are seeing significant circulation loss for the first time in their history and they aren't sure what to do about it except panic.

    The healthy attitude is Arthur Sulzberger's, but then he is more able to take a long-range view than most:

    Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years?

    "I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either," he says.

    Sulzberger is focusing on how to best manage the transition from print to Internet.

    "The Internet is a wonderful place to be, and we're leading there," he points out.

    The Times, in fact, has doubled its online readership to 1.5 million a day to go along with its 1.1 million subscribers for the print edition.

  9. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    The Journal and The Times are newpaper companies which have diversified holdings and are circulated nationally. It allows them to be more farsighted.
    They're the exception.
  10. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    That's true and so does the NYT stock structure figure into it. We've seen Dow Jones shed some but not all of its Ottaway newspapers and we've seen NYT cutbacks in Boston but as far as I know, no freakouts in Santa Rosa and Sarasota.

    But I still think the stability of the NYT and WSJ has to do with their unique content and not dumbing down the products. They have made no silly, destructive attempts to gear the product to either children or morons, they have not killed national and foreign coverage, and they haven't turned A-1 into a comic book.

    The point I was responding to was that the newspapers with the "greatest financial investment" are losing readers, and that clearly isn't true.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I agree. You're absolutely right.
    And, as a sider to this, there are some diversified companies which haven't done well. The Washington Post Co. and the Tribune Co. jump to the front. And, no one can question the Post's commitment to their website.
  12. zaphod

    zaphod New Member

    I'll amend: They're losing print subscribers.
    NYT average daily circ, home + single copy, is down 8.6 percent since March 1998, according to ABC. The big reason is plummeting SC sales. Home delivery is up from 1998, but is down from its 2002 peak.
    But look at the "other" category: More than triple the number of readers than in 1998.

    It's true: "Readership" is greater now than ever in human history. People consume more words via text today than at any point, ever.

    They're just not getting it from paper.
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