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View Diary: Big Media's gambit to protect their profit margins (191 comments)

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  •  So true (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, kurt, Puddytat, Ranger1

    I remember a decade and a half ago when the Akron Becon Journal was the standout paper in Northeastern Ohio, with top-notch writes and winenr of many awards. Many of us preferred it to the bigger Cleveland paper, the Plainly Republican (Plain Dealer). They were making a nice profit, but then the parent company demanded 20%, 25%, 30%. And they kept cutting sections, cutting staff, slashing and burning their budget until the paper eventually became little more than a community shopping rag filled with reprints. The paper was never unprofitable when they were decimating it; it's just that they were demanding more shareholder profit – and more and more and more. Now they don't really have an actual paper worth reading. The Plainly Republican is rapidly going down the same path, although their trnasparent political bias doomed them years ago in this overwhelmingly Democratic region. I cancelled my subscription in 2004 when the publisher overruled the editoral board's landslide vote to endorse Kerry.

    Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

    by anastasia p on Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 02:10:24 PM PDT

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    •  I am reading these comments with my mouth agape (4+ / 0-)

      Yes, newspapers, printed ones on dead trees, seem to be this generation's buggy whips or restaurant ashtrays.

      Yes, most publicly owned papers/chains failed to invest back into their newsrooms and into the future.

      Yes, many publishers and editors are at the other political pole than most of their readers.

      And, yes, papers have made plenty of mistakes in their reporting, news judgment and priorities.

      But the almost glee I sense in their failure is sickening.

      Take a step back for a second and think about the information -- LOCAL INFORMATION -- that gets to you, whether online, on the TV, radio or in print. Think about what portion of it originated from the work of a newspaper reporter.

      Chances are MOST of the information about your local  schools, roads, taxes, officials, crime, and a whole bunch of other stuff, is coming from a newspaper.

      Important, local stories of corruption and abuse of power? Mostly from newspapers. Stories on local artists? Features on amazing local people? The story about the one-armed wrestler making it to the state semis? All that stuff is coming from newspapers.

      As much as I love citizen journalism, we simply cannot provide all that information with blogs and diaries on Kos. And if we could, there is certainly no clearinghouse, one that's as easy to find and navigate as the paper.

      If newspapers die, much of the news and information -- and, yes, a portion of democracy -- will disappear.

      I urge you guys to read some of the incredible stories that are told every day in print. Check out gangrey.com and other sites that feature the best of the best.

      And take a moment to scan the rec'd diaries and count how many link back to articles from dreaded, dying newspapers.

      Newspapers are like a great girlfriend with a few annoying habits. Those habits will make us want to dump her.

      Then, when she's gone. We're going to spend the rest of our days in regret.

      •  I think you don't understand what we're saying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        I love newspapers that print stuff worth reading.  I want them back.  I want real news where our government, spokespeople, etc. are questioned, intensely, and then fact checked.  I miss investigative reporting which I find so rarely now.

        We are actually sorrowful about the demise of real reporting and the traditional news media.  Most of it now is online with Greg Palast, Democracy Now, and other internet sites.

        I go back to my original comment - that all those sobbing newspapers have only themselves to blame for what is happening to them.  They still have a chance if they would only go back to real reporting.

        Those who yell do so because their arguments are so weak they can only be supported by massive amounts of hot air. Sue, West Allis, Wisconsin

        by Puddytat on Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 09:28:58 PM PDT

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