They doth protest too much

The newspaper industry is spending $50 million to convince advertisers that it’s not dying, trumping the $40 million the magazine industry is spending to the same end. I agree with Rafat: If they took a fraction of that money and invested in experimentation and development of new ideas, it would pay off a lot more than this.

  • http://mtaricani.blogspot.com Michael Taricani

    They do not want to acknowledge the fact that a measure of acceptance is basically who subscribes or uses the services. So if a paper subscription list or sales go down it means that people do not see value in it. Many criticize the “internet”, “blogs”, “Fox News”, etc…..but if the ratings are going up and it is voluntary that people see “value”. I agree that spending money to research causes for decline and developing new media opportunities and tactics will go much farther in gaining marketshare than advertising that “we are here”.
    Mike

  • Ravo

    Just one glimpse at this says a thousand words about why the mainstream press has made itself totally irrelevant.

    It’s simply no longer mainstream, representing instead a tiny rabid niche willing to hurt the nation in order to get the likes of a Clinton, Gore or Kerry into power.

  • http://writingup.com/ashok ashok

    $50 million to advertise to advertisers. Wow.

    How can I get in on this racket? All I do is work to provide my readership with quality content because I like the challenge of writing for an audience. It hasn’t brought me a dime or even a relatively large audience yet…

    OK, you ‘ve got me dreaming of $50 million dollars now…

  • http://www.laurencehaughton.com laurence haughton

    You are so right Jeff. Instead of spending millions of dollars telling clients that they don’t suck if they instead paid their journalists to uncover why and where they have sucked… well imagine what they could learn.

    Of course they would have to be very good journalists to get to the roots of the story and not let any personal agendas color their reporting. And they’d have to tell the bosses some things they wouldn’t like hearing. But I’ll bet it would be possible and not all that expensive.

  • http://www.laurencehaughton.com laurence haughton

    Oh I forgot to make this point. “They (the reporters) would need to ask the clients to tell them the straight story…. not academics or marketing gurus.”

  • Wise One

    Right on. Newspapers are too much into propaganda and axe grinding. Just tell us the local and regional news. Local and regional personalities too.

    Stop looking for Watergates. Work and innovate in the trenches.

    Encourage email to the editor. Print a lot of them. They are bloggish and interesting.

  • http://madison.com/wsj Ellen Foley

    Some of us believe that the effort is a good sign. Publishers are renown for being hesitant to promote their products, another well accepted business practice that perhaps our arrogance impeded. Looking at it that way, this initiative is a step forward.

  • http://marginalizingmorons.blogspot.com/ CaptiousNut

    Ellen,

    You are only right about the “arrogance”.

    Yeah, if only the publishers would promote their products more, we’ll all coming running back to the jurassic newspapers.

    A little bit of self-promotion won’t offset the daily juggernaut of self-demotion, aka the content.

  • http://www.paulparducci.blogspot.com Paul Parducci

    I have been a daily reader of newspapers for years and years. Because of my morning coffee and straight to the computer for all the latest and the greatest ritual,I finally dropped my daily subscription because frankly most of the time the “news” is stale and or changed by the time I get to the paper.
    And I Have to admit, I kept the Sunday edition because they included Fri and Sat for the same price. Heck I’m even doing more and more crossword puzzles online.

  • http://moviesandmore.typepad.com Patricia

    Or maybe they could use the money to hire security guards so that they would feel free to publish “offensive” Muslim cartoons.

  • http://www.unfetteredblather.com Jason O

    It does sound like more good money after bad.

    I am not against paying for a paper or a magazine, I don’t feel like I need to turn to the Internet exclusively for my news. I kind of like reading the paper. The problem isn’t even that I only get one side of the story, but that they try to pass themselves off as objective, or worse as experts.

    Just report the facts, be honest about your bias, and quit acting like the reader is an idiot. Those three little things would probably do a lot to boost sales.

    Media bias won’t kill them. Media denial of bias probably will.

  • http://dylko.blogspot.com Ivan Dylko

    Jeff, knowing your perspective on the matter of advertisers’ “nimbleness” – I thought you’d suggest that bloggers should unite and launch a campaign that aims at marketing blogosphere as a worthy investment for ad dollars…

  • Jorge

    Buying new saddles for a dead horse…..Hmmmmm.

  • Todd Lokken

    Old newspaper guys still work in newspapers because they just don’t get this new-media thing! So, until some young blood gets in there, they will have a ways to go before they catch up.

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