Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black and white and in the red

Raise your hand if you got most of your Oscar info from the newspaper. You are not alone. Some 89 million Americans depend upon their local newspaper for movie buzz.

That should be enough for a lead role, you say. Perhaps. But it’s too little, too late as several more newspapers file for bankruptcy:

MarketWatch reports the Journal Register, debt-strapped owner of the New Haven Register and 19 other daily U.S. newspapers, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move comes even after the company divested unprofitable papers, cut staff and made cuts to other expenses.

More: Reuters says Philadelphia Newspapers, the publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in an attempt to deal with falling advertising revenue. The company says it will continue normal operations of its newspapers and other businesses.

And more: Gannett's Feb. 19 deadline to receive bids for the Tucson Citizen passed with no offers, making it likely the 138-year-old newspaper will shut down. A last-minute buyer is seen as unlikely because Gannett is keeping its 50% stake in the joint operating deal with the rival Arizona Daily Star.

Still more: CanWest, the largest owner of television, newspapers and radio in Canada, is trying to secure financing to avoid filing for bankruptcy the end of the month.

Train wrecks disguised as news organizations.

What time do the bars open?


Anonymous said...

The whole mess is immoral, yet simplistic beyond belief. Without real reporters digging up real facts on real news stories..without newspapers, without legitimate radio and television newsrooms, we cannot expect anything more than we're getting--a dumbing down of a society to the point of bygod embarassment. How it got that way remains a matter of discussion from Rupert Murdoch to Conspiracy Theory. Now, citizens who know no better find themselves with "news" sources like Limbaugh, Hannity, OReilly and all the screaming heads on television inflame not enlighten.

Sure we have dreadful economic woes. My worse fear, however, is ignorance...fed by lack of true, real, dedicated news soldiers. Ernie Pyle, Ray Miller, Marty Haag, Dave Lane and a whole cadre of those who gave their all...bled and died to uphold worthiness of a craft....must be spinning in their graves.

God Help America. Mike

Ken Martin said...

The bad news for newspapers just keeps coming. Editor & Publisher reported Feb. 16 that the Houston Chronicle is about to cut "at least" 10 percent of its jobs. The Austin American-Statesman is for sale and stated that 130 of its 908 employees are eligible for early retirement buyouts.

When it comes to news, the new model will be "buy local" in a completely new sense of the phrase.

The South Plainsman said...

Newpapers/news organizations are in a race to develop a new paradigm that will permit them to be profitable.

It will need to provide what the public is willing to pay for and in an appropriate manner.

One of the worst things that can happen to us is to not have a free and independent press.

Let us all hope that somehow we can preserve it.

Let us also hope that what we have will do its job and ask hard questions.

Anonymous said...

Prior to the internet television news was a mile wide and an inch thick. It is sad that the "gospel" is now being delivered electronically by the likes of O'Reilly, Limbaugh and their ilk.
I find it really depressing that print media is going south and going south so fast.
I agree with Mike on the lack of dedicated news soldiers.

The South Plainsman said...

The bar opened at my house at 5:34 PM. Come on by. Bring the Mystery Woman.

George Phenix said...

We may take you up on the drink when we trek north later this spring.

That's a little out of the way, but we would use the opportunity to wander into the Black Hills.


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