Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bad News for Print Journalists

This can't be good news for newspapers.  And their employees who are doing more for less.  If the publishers can't think of a way to garner more online advertising then newspapers as we know them will end.  Could we see them change to fewer issues a week?  Or do they go out of business altogether?  I wonder.  As much as I love the New York Times delivered every day, I just refuse to accept more price hikes. Right now it is $61 a month.  And I have a bill for  subscription to the Journal sitting on my desk for over $97.50 for six months.  What to do?

Bt then I think of the money I send to Comcast for Cable TV, Internet and Phone and those print subscription amounts don't seem so bad.  One benefit we get from Comcast is double duty as a cat warmer.


Bubba Muntzer said...

The Weekly Alibi laid of its news staff (three people, I think) a few months ago and the ones laid off started an online publication to fill the void.

You promoted a site by a guy doing New Mexico news and commentary.

Both are very good. It's cheap and easy to get online, and if we can prevent the Democrats from going along with the never ending array of schemes to privatize the internet, it's only left for these online journalists to find a way to make a living.

On the other hand, we'd be better off not relying on profit driven news sources anyway, which we have done from the beginning. In Journalism school we were taught the famous examples of newspapers cowing to big advertisers, and up through today, the voices that agitate the loudest for the most people and the most equality are the ones most marginalized by commercial media, because they are commercial media, and fundamentally conservative.

Average citizens, like the ones putting out the web sites I link to above, are already doing online reporting part time or as volunteers. Average citizens who get interested in politics think nothing of volunteering for campaigns or attending demonstrations and even getting arrested, if they think it will get their voices heard.

The same people would gladly attend city council meetings and report on what happened and have their voices heard first hand. And you learn reporting mainly by doing it and by talking to people who know what's going on, and who have inside information and want it to get out there.

Theoretically there's nothing a newspaper does that they couldn't do. There would be things they couldn't do yet, but there will eventually be consortiums built of citizen journalist outlets, networks organized, foreign offices that are funded collectively, etc.

The Pacifica radio network is doing some of this already. The two California stations do a joint evening newscast that covers all of California. Democracy Now comes out of Pacifica. It's played by all kinds of media outlets, including the local UNM public radio station.

Most Pacifica stations run a program called Free Speech Radio News, which uses volunteers from all over the world. People do some pretty good on the ground reporting. There's a staff who know radio reporting and give them advice on how to get the news and how to write and put their tape together. The same could be done for online reporting.

Anonymous said...

Hearst said "News is something somebody doesn't want reported." The local paper fails in that regard almost all of time. It's up to the bloggers....Monahan, Eye, Ispac....

Anonymous said...

Jim, how long have you been complaining about the Journal? I quit subscribing over a year ago and I haven't lost any coverage of importance. Dump them!