3e. Demise of the newspaper

Major reports and authoritative ongoing sources 

  1. The term “seismic shift” is overused, but it applies to what’s happened to American newspapers. In 2007, there were 55,000 full-time journalists at nearly 1,400 daily papers; in 2015, there were 32,900, according to a census by the American Society of News Editors and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University.  In “What Happens to Journalists?” By Dale Maharidge, March 4, 2016, on Bill Moyers & Co.
  2. Technology will not save your business model. Medium.com, April 2016.
  3. Philly newspapers go non-profit, The Atlantic, Jan. 14, 2016.
  4. Nieman lab – the halving of Americas newsrooms. July 28, 2015.
  5. Declining value of US newspapers, Pew Center, May 22, 2015. “Over the past decade, weekday circulation has fallen 17% and ad revenue more than 50%. In 2014 alone, three different media companies decided to spin off more than 100 newspaper properties, in large part to protect their still-robust broadcast or digital divisions.”  Also:
  6. The bad news about the news  — Robert G. Kaiser, Brookings Institution, Oct. 16, 2014.   “Overall the economic devastation would be difficult to exaggerate. One statistic conveys its dimensions: the advertising revenue of all America’s newspapers fell from $63.5 billion in 2000 to about $23 billion in 2013, and is still falling.”
  7. State of the Media — Annual report from the Pew Research Center is very useful for keeping track of the trends.
  8. A sad setback for Peter Omidyar’s journalism dream – Nov.3, 2014.
  9. Newspaper Cuts — Annual reports and graphics on layoffs and closings in the newspaper business.
  10. Old Media, New Media and the Challenge to Democratic Governance: Findings from the Project on Media & Governance,”  March 20, 2010, University of Virginia.
  11. Newspaper death watch blog.
  12. National Newspaper Association newspaper circulation tracking
  13. World Association of Newspapers presentation on press trends.  Note circulation in the Asia Pacific region was up 15% between 2006 and 2010,  Latin America up 4% since 06, Europe down 10% since 06, but North America down 20 % since 06.
  14. What the future of news looks like.  Poynter Institute, June, 2012.
  15. Decline of newspapers – Wikipedia
  16. Council of Economic Advisors say newspaper publishing is the fastest shrinking business in America. 2012.
  17. Why hire an out-of-work  journalist? Poynter, March 15, 2009.
  18. Newspaper websites are not gaining readers, April 2016.
  19. Death to the Mass, Jeff Jarvis, May 2016, and a rebuttal, Mass media is over, but where does journalism go from here? by Roy Greenslade, May 2016.
  20. The sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think, Feb. 2016, By Richard Tofel, former president of ProPublica

Reflections and articles

  1. Journalism must survive says Bill Moyers. May 26, 2015.
  2. The fading newspaper, Bloomberg, May 2015.
  3. The future of news — Bill Keller and Glenn Greenwald, New York Times, Oct. 28, 2013.
  4. Confidence Game” by Dean Starkman, Columbia Journalism Review,  2011, with response by Clay Shirkey.
  5. Bloggers versus journalists — twisted psychology, false dichotomy. By Jay Rosen.
  6. Last call – Clay Shirkey, August 2014.
  7. Now That Publishing And Circulation Are Free, What Can Media Companies Do To Create Scarcity?  Benjy Boxer, Forbes magazine,   Jan. 21, 2014  (mentions Revolutions in Communication).
  8. Online media is replacing newspapers and TV. Is that such a bad thing?  Christian Science Monitor.
  9. Interview with President Barack Obama includes reflections on the demise of newspapers.   “Those old times aren’t coming back,” he said.  July 2013.
  10. The 1960s redesign:  Newspaper editors were glacially slow to change how they did things, largely because for 50 years their newspapers had faced little competition in reporting day-to-day events — and had enjoyed healthy profits. News people came to see the way they did things as the right way, as good journalism. They came to believe that the news process, an irrational one in many ways, was the reason for their success. (Michael O’Donell)
  11. New media meltdown at New Century — Business Week, 1998
  12. Will newspaper values ever recover?  — Newsosaur blog.
  13. Rehire The Journalists! Audiences Want More Science
  14. Barbie can be a multimedia journalist
  15. How the newspaper industry tried to invent the Web but failed. –  Jack Shafer – Slate Magazine, 2009.
  16. Stverak, Jason. “The pros and pros of ‘Citizen Journalism,’ ” Online Journalism Review, March 12, 2010.
  17. Gene Weingarten: How ‘branding’ is ruining journalism
  18. Chris Hedges: The Death of Journalism, June 27, 2011.
  19. Why Are We Still Consuming News Like It’s 1899? By Ben Huh, May 2011, founder of I Can Has Cheeseburger.
  20. Jack Lessenberry, How to kill the news, Sept. 7, 2011. “Reporters should crowdsource, tweet, shoot, SMS, live chat and — oh, yeah — report the news.”
  21. The greatest challenge in the history of media, Digital Deliverance, 2010.
  22. Bulletins from the future:  The internet has turned the news industry upside down, making it more participatory, social, diverse and partisan—as it used to be before the arrival of the mass media, says Tom Standage. Economist, July 7, 2011.
  23. Before Watergate could be Googled. Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2012.
  24.  Warren Buffett is buying up newspapers for a song.
  25. Tabloids are collapsing in the UK.  NY Times June 4, 2012.
  26. Film on dying newspapers under production.  Politico, June 5, 2012.
  27. Sarah Palin is wrong – Citizen journalists can’t replace real journalists.  Leonard Pitts, June 24, 2012.
  28. One reason the news media is collapsing in Australia, New Zealand and Canada is increasing ownership by partisan zealots.
  29. Will investors follow Rupert Murdoch to the newspaper rack? Los Angeles Times,  June 29, 2012.  (Doubtful).
  30. Journalism can’t survive on symbolic capital alone (such as) grand talk about democracy and the Fourth Estate, says Burt Herman.  “If things that are not journalism (can) entertain, inform and facilitate agency better than things that are, don’t bet on journalism to thrive.” Herman’s blog came up in a Storify thread:  Is journalism being replaced? 
  31. The news isn’t free, Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, Aug. 11, 2013.
  32. Newspapers have become the bullied school kid of American journalism says Leonard Pitts Jr. in this Aug. 10 2013 column.
  33. The “secret sauce” for sustainable journalism?  Haven’t found it yet. INN,  Sept.25, 2013.
  34. Ebay founder Peter Omidyar is starting up a news organization. Washington Post, Oct. 17, 2013.  Interview with Pierre Omidyar of eBay, on investments in the News, New York Times, Oct. 20, 2013.
  35. Daily newspaper circulation trends. Romanesko.
  36. Decline of local media is totally terrible. Washington Post, May 27, 2015.
  37. The book business dug its own grave. USA Today June 2 2014; What is the future of the news industry asks USA Today in this July 8, 2014 article.
  38. Can newspapers make it on their own?  USA Today Aug 7, 2014.  Spin-offs of more profitable divisions raise troubling questions.
  39. De-newspaperization of America,  Will Bunch, July 31, 2013, Philadelphia Inquirer.
  40. Is the magazine business doomed to shrink?  Adweek, April 2011
  41. The end of the news business in Appalachian Kentucky means that “the growing economic inequality between rural and urban in Kentucky will be matched by a social and political distance,” says Bill Bishop in this Daily Yonder blog post.
  42. Kevin Ferris of the Philadelphia Inquirer says in a Feb. 2012 tribute to VCU journalism prof Bill Turpin …  “No matter how talented the writers and photographers, the editors and page designers, the advertising and production staffs, they couldn’t put those talents to use if your newspaper wasn’t making money.Thirty years later, the money isn’t being made. And changing economic realities require that newspapers adapt or die… “
  43. Print advertising lower now than in 1950.  Slate magazine, 2014.
  44. Maybe the internet isnt killing the newspaper after all,  ChicagoMag, Oct. 2014.
  45. Its not the internet says Chicago Prof, June 13, 2014, Guardian.
  46. Goodbye to the age of newspapers, hello to a new era of corruption. New Republic, March 4, 2009.
  47. Who killed the newspaper – Economist, 2006 — A very early article predicting the demise of the newspaper.
  48. Who’s to blame? The Nation, August, 2014.
  49. Decline of newspapers is the decline of democracy, Propublica head says.
  50. Content used to be king – but now it’s the joker. by Amy Westervelt, M Magazine, June 3, 2014.

Individual newspapers & magazines  

  1. The ghost of the Herald Tribune — Great 1987 article by Richard Reeves,  about the collapse of the New York newspaper in 1966 and its 100th anniversary of its Paris edition. The Paris edition itself became the international edition of the New York Times on Oct. 15, 2013.
  2. What can Time and Newsweek do about the supposed raison d’etre of the whole weekly news magazine enterprise?  Honestly? Nothing. The “weekly newsmagazine” is an oxymoron. Philadelphia Inquirer, May 14, 2012.
  3. How the Daytona News Journal’s value dropped from $300 million to $20 million between 2006 and 2010.  Alan D. Mutter’s  Newsosaur blog.
  4. Shutting down the presses at the Austin (Tx) American Statesman, and the Portland Oregonian,  July, 2015.
  5. Philadelphia’s “Queen of the Press” (the Inquirer) is deposed.  July 2, 2012.
  6.  It was a pretty big deal when the New Orleans Times Picayune dropped its daily print edition. But beneath the drama was a quieter question: Does it matter?  (Christian Science Monitor, Nov 11, 2012)  “We wont retreat.”  Jim Amos, New Orleans Times Picayune. June 13, 2012.  NPR covers the layoffs of half the newsroom and talks with Mark Schleifstein  New Orleans Times Picayune goes underwater and is mourned by the New York Times and the  Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2012.
  7. The Washington Post was purchased by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in the summer of 2013. One former editor, William Grieder,   remembers the glory days in an article in The Nation Aug. 7, 2013. One excerpt:

For fifteen years or so we got to experience what was maybe the very best time and place ever to be a reporter and writer at the most dynamic newspaper in the country. Because we know something about how and why that came about, we do not expect the same combination of people and events to come again anytime soon, or maybe ever again. The past was rare, but it is also past. We feel grateful we were there. — William Grieder.

Journalism education

  1. My “Dare to Dream” Journalism Curriculum 
  2. Is it safe to go to journalism school?  — Michael Miner, Chicago Reader
  3. Where is journalism school going? — The Nation Magazine. This is mostly about Northwestern University’s renaming of its J-school to include marketing, but also the breakdown of the wall separating public relations from journalism.
  4. Half-Truths on a J-School – Inside Higher Ed, 2010.

New ideas for publishing

  1. How to destroy the business model of Brietbart and fake news, NY Times, Jan 8, 2017
  2. The return of print?  New York Times, Dec. 29, 2013.
  3. News creation, commentary and dissemination is now participatory — Pew Internet & American Life Project
  4. The Big Thaw – Charting a New Future for Journalism,   a study by Q Media Labs was released by The Media Consortium,  a group of 40  independent media organization such as Mother Jones & The Nation.
  5. How to Save the News –  The Atlantic  James Fallows, June 2010.
  6. It’s time to create an American World Service like the BBC World  Service, says Columbia University President and First Amendment scholar Lee C.  Bollinger in the July/August 2011 issue of Columbia Journalism Review.   “Now, with globalization well underway, it is imperative that we begin to think more systematically about how we will build and develop the concept of a free press for a new global public forum.”
  7. The Washingon  Post re-builds for a different future.  February 12, 2012.  New York Times.   And more about the Post under Jeff Bezos here in the Economist, May 2015.
  8. Forbes Magazine is re-inventing the magazine, according to editor Lewis Dvorkin.
  9. And Time Magazine gives the world the same old American fluff.  According to Jon Stewart on Feb. 14, 2012.
  10. Whatever its particular name — new media, citizen journalism, crowd-sourcing — the new model tends to be sold as a panacea for the diseased hulk of traditional journalism. Toronto Star, May 31, 2012.
  11. “We”ll keep delivering” says Nancy Barnes of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  12. Espresso” book publishing, Washington Post, June 2012.
  13. Google “Penguin” will flip SEO on its head.  Advertising Age, Aug. 9, 2012
  14. Amazon serials: Part Dickens, part TV, Fast Company, Sept. 7, 2012
  15. Self published books fueling an industry rise (although some are getting left out of promotional events). Des Moines Register Oct. 3.
  16. Drones offer journalists a wider view.  NYT Nov 25, 2013.
  17. Now that publishing and circulation are free, what can newspapers do to create scarcity?  Forbes, Jan. 14, 2014.
  18. Pierre Omidyar, eBay billionaire, and his news experiment.  NPR, Oct. 13, 2013.
  19. MIT Media lab creates a contextual news site, July 31, 2014.
  20. Washington Post uses technology to home in on potential customers, which is what has made Google ads so effective in the past. NPR, June 13, 2017.