No news is no news

It’s no longer news that newspapers are reporting disastrous drops in circulation: “Apart from those two national dailies, which eked out gains of under 1 percent each, every other newspaper in the top 20 posted declines, according to figures released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.” It would be news if they figured out what to do about it.

  • I was with a not-to-be-named employee of the Oregonian. I mentioned the 4.76% and 3.70% loss in daily and Sunday circ. I also referred to days when the only serious advertisers seem to be national retail chains.

    I got an eye roll and the mention that the paper still had 300 in the newsroom. I didn’t hone in on the 300 number but can this be right? 300!

    How long can a local paper sustain close to 5% circulation drops on an annual basis? I mean, just do the math. Can you crystal ball this… where is this all really going?

    Is my “news” going to come from the TV affiliates, the AP and bloggers?

  • Oddly, as the circulation of newspapers is dropping, we’re presented with the very real possibility that the Madison Capital Times might end up becoming the largest and most powerful “newspaper” in the country. This is, of course, because they may be one of the first to respond in a rational way to the disruption caused by recent changes in publishing technology. If they follow the path suggested by various people (including Jay Rosen), of learning how to organize, focus and monetize the “latent journalistic capacity” of their community, they may end up developing a “news machine” that grows strongly and rapidly while generating immense loyalty among those it serves. If they learn the “secret” of organizing before others do, it is likely that they will be invited to join with others in reinvigorating journalism in other communities whose needs are no longer served by paper news distribution. (i.e. the “failed” paper will, by their failure, be forced to band together into a successful union…) USA Today and the WSJ may be celebrating tiny increases in their circulation today, but one day they may be facing the “failed” Capital Times as a significant competitor.

    In times of disruptive innovation, the failed incumbents are blessed with the opportunity to stop defending the old and instead join in building the new…

    bob wyman
    (writing only half in jest…)

  • If the “news” about various US Military people, and the good things they’re trying to do in Iraq, was more often on the front page, more of the America loving potential readers would be actual readers.

    How many have won Medals of Honor and Silver Stars in the last few years? How many of these have been front page stories?

    Or maybe not. I mostly read when I can comment, even if I choose not to.

  • Zach

    Perfect Onion article that goes with this topic: “Dying Newspaper Trend Buys Nation’s Newspapers Three More Weeks”