Newspapers and Bloggers

- - The Future

Newspaper ad revenues take their worst drop in almost 60 years (data here), which leads to a nice off the cliff graphic by Gawker (here) and a “Newspapers are f’ed” post by Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine (here) but hold on there, the Long Tailed, Wired Editor, Christopher Anderson responds with “Surprisingly, the industry is just ten percent off its historic highs (much like the stock market) and is still twice as big as it was twenty years ago,” dramatically pointing out how much money is still left in the system (here).

Meanwhile a story on PBS.org by Mark Glass looks at how Journalists have become bloggers and bloggers are becoming jounalists (here) the story includes former journalist turned full time blogger Erick Schonfeld who writes a post this weekend reflecting on his half year anniversary as a TechCrunch blogger (here) and Brian Stelter a blogger hired fresh out of college by the NY Times who wrote a great piece on (here) poltical news and the youth that included a very futuristic statement by a college student “If the news is that important, it will find me” which was highlighted by The Globe and Mail technology writer *slash* blogger Mathew Ingram (here) which prompts a Mark Cubin blog post (here) that claims we have finally reached the digital equivalent of Timothy OLeary’s “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out.”

There Are 11 Comments On This Article.

  1. It seems to me that newspapers, despite all their shortcomings, are necessary to contextualize all this internet free information. But nothing is free..
    ….From Rumor’s tongues
    They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.

    All these rumors have their work to do.

  2. I think part of the problem is that as consolidation has occurred in media outlets, unreasonable expectations of future growth exceeding past growth has become the norm. Large corporations start cutting costs as soon as revenue growth slows. It’s because, in most cases, the companies are publicly traded and the shareholders reward them for aggressive revenue growth, not because they publish great papers.

    Just because a paper doesn’t have the same revenue growth it had in it’s hey day, doesn’t mean it’s not a viable investment, but Wall Street doesn’t agree. That’s a large part of the reason that the area of Metro Detroit that I recently left, went from almost non-existent local coverage to at least a dozen local papers and magazines. The big corporations didn’t see that coverage as profitable enough, but smaller private companies don’t need the same kind of revenue to see it as a good investment.

    Eventually, those small papers will either be bought by the big companies, or start buying each other, and the cycle will continue.

  3. Speaking of which…

    There was a panel discussion about fashion and blogging at The Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday. I didn’t go, but it looked interesting.

    They invited people from both sides — traditional/print and internet — Cathy Horyn (NY Times fashion critic), Scott Shuman (The Sartorialist) and Diane Pernet (A Shaded View on Fashion). There’s some video from the event at models.com.

    They should do more of these. And in other fields too, like photography. It’s nice to see the mix. Maybe a combination of magazine photo editors/photographers and internet photo editors/photographers.

  4. That last comment mentioned “people from both sides.”

    Are there really sides? Is it really a conflict? I feel comfortable with both paper media and illuminated media, using and referencing both in my daily life.

  5. I don’t know if it’s been published stateside yet, but in UK ‘Flat Earth News’ by Nick Davies is peeling back the grime from the way newspapers operate.

    A quote from the Observer’s review of his book:-

    ‘Davies unmuzzled deplores the rise of ‘churnalism'; the quick-turnover dross peddled by hacks less scrupulous or fortunate than him. Costs are being cut and standards eroded by greedy proprietors. Hidden persuaders are manipulating truth. At its worst, the modern newsroom is a place of bungs and bribes, whose occupants forage illicitly for scoops in databases and dustbins. Newspapers hold others to account while hushing up their own unsavoury methods. Self-regulation does not always offer fair (or any) redress to citizens who have had lies written about them. Stories are often pompous, biased or plain wrong. Some close scrutiny is not only legitimate: it is overdue.’
    http://tinyurl.com/2bfv5r

    @4 Asks ‘Are there really sides? Is there a conflict?’
    I think not, there is a qualitative convergence between MSM and the blogosphere, driven by business models that don’t really work in either domain. Print is obsessed with cost-cutting and multimedia as a way to try and squeeze more ad revenue out of the web and find some growth, or at least stop the slide. But the ad driven/free content sums don’t add up, with notable exceptions like Google who avoid the cost of content entirely.

    This boils down to : usually you get what you pay for. Stills photography is an early casualty, with an increasingly toxic environment for pro’s (a cheaper picture can always be found to fill a hole), but content itself is becoming like junk food, mass market, cheap and noxious.

  6. Next, I guess she’ll be getting her own photography department at Wal-Mart…

  7. Of course there are sides. The line is getting blurred by the day, but the line still exists.

    Traditional media people rarely know enough about how the internet works and “internet people” are rarely in positions of power that traditional media people are, and there is a clear divide. You are more likely one or the other. If you believe otherwise, you might not know enough about the other side and you might not realize how much you do not know.

    Every once in a while, you will meet someone who encompasses both (like APE, Scott Schuman, etc.), but this is not that common.

    Most traditional media people are only good at what they do and do not spend enough time learning about the internet, because they are already in positions of power.

    On the other hand, internet people generally lack the skills to rise to positions of power in traditional media, so they focus all their energies on learning and using the internet as much as possible.

    And there surely is a conflict because most of the time, there is a power struggle for money and resources. Rarely do budgets and power get split evenly between traditional media and internet. This is because most revenue will come from either one side or the other — rarely both evenly. And whoever makes the money generally wields the power.

    Sorry to sound like a douche, but if you are unaware of this dynamic, you might not see the “sides”.

  8. I hate articles on the demise of the newspaper industry because they fail to provide any context. Instead of talking about the newspaper industry, we should start talking about the journalism industry as a whole. We’re seeing an increase in the number of full-time bloggers that do original reporting and I think in many cases they’re picking up the slack.

  9. Jakob Nielsen insists that print will be dead in ten years… then again, I think he said the same thing ten years ago.

    Judging by the fact that the industry has actually grown since his first prediction, I’d say he’s calling it a bit early. IMO, traditional print will see some really dramatic shake-ups when we have displays that rival traditional print in quality — and judging by the display on the new D300 — that might be just around the corner…

    – Eric