Could Negative Personal Experience Cloud MSM Economic Reporting?

Some have bemoaned the lack of positive media coverage of the comparatively strong U.S. economy over the past few years. Maybe there’s a reason. In a review of -30-: The Collapse of the Great American Newspaper edited by Charles M. Madigan, John Saul notes:

From article to article, there is an echo of depressing statistics about the newspaper business: 44,000 news-industry employees lost their jobs in the past five years, pre-tax earnings at newspapers were off 8.4 percent in 2006 over the previous year, 200 papers closed in the past 25 years. Overall newspaper circulation was down 10 percent, as the population went up 12 percent, since the mid to late 1990s.

Is it any wonder that the majority of the dead-tree MSM finds it hard to believe that the economy is doing well?

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16 years ago

Ha! Their creativity in making up, err, I mean reporting, the news has lead to the creative destruction of their capital.
Still plenty of opportunity, but they need to stop thinking that newspapers are defined by ink on dead trees delivered by burning a lot of diesel. And they need to figure out that they can’t report only what they see fit.

16 years ago

For years, many newspapers rang up profit margins well into the 20s, which most American businesses would envy.
Instead of simply tightening their belts a bit during economic down cycles, the corporations who bought newspapers regarding them as cash cows hacked staff and cut the news product drastically in order to keep unrealistically high profit margins. All they did was devalue their businesses and foist a much lesser product on customers (if you’re wondering why the ProJo ‘aint what it used to be, but Belo’s not the worst).
The Murdochs, Gannetts, JRC in R.I. and Mass., etc. did just as much to destroy the newspaper business, if not more so, than the Internet.

16 years ago

Great comments about the newspaper business. You’re right on target there. Amen!

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