Monday, December 08, 2008

Perspective: it was a v.good year for stories, and yet...

... was the kind of year in which circulation should have boomed. If you live for a story, this year was an embarrassment of riches.

And yet the decline didn’t just continue. It accelerated.

Between March and September the 500 biggest newspapers in America reported an average circulation decline of 4.6%. In six months. That’s close to a 10% decline per year. No newspapers showed any but fractional gains. It is therefore a near-certainty that many towns and cities in America will no longer have a newspaper after the down-turn. And that may apply not just to small names but to some big ones as well. The Los Angeles Times, for example, has gone from a circulation of 1.1m to 739,000 since the turn of the millennium. Its staff has been halved. Morale has never been lower.

Andrew Sullivan on newspapers, in a newspaper.

And the New York Times Executive Editor, Bill Keller, is worried too:

"Good journalism does not come cheap. And, therefore, you're not going to find a lot of blogs or nonprofit Web sites that are going to build a Baghdad bureau."

He also noted that "there's a real shortage of the kind of information that I would call quality journalism."

NPR, Morning Edition.

No comments: