Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Survival of News


American newspapers have lost 42% of their market value (Pew Research Center). Value is measured by the revenue of the paper, which heavily relies on readership. There has been a steep decline in readership, and this affects the job market in the printing industry because in order to gain back economic balance, newsrooms are forced to become frugal and cut newsroom jobs.  According to the American Society of News Editors annual newsroom census, there was “a net loss of another 1,300 full-time professionals last year” (Edmonds). With the shorthand of staff,  newspapers are being forced to consolidate, this means they have to print less words per page and combine with other papers to stay alive. For example, as of October 31st, The Chicago Tribune bought the Sun-Times, “The agreement… brings six daily and 32 weekly suburban newspapers into the Tribune fold, bolstering circulation and revenue while significantly expanding its publishing footprint across the Chicago market, from Waukegan to northwest Indiana” (Channick).

This deal was made to balance the revenue to cost ratio. Buying the Sun-Times would increase circulation of the paper. But consequently, doing this leads to a much less local touch. The paper has to be printed more generally to be able to relate to the wider publishing footprint, making the paper blander and less effective. From a business perspective, advertisers are less likely to print in the paper because it is too much of a risk. Without the money from advertisers and the loyalty of readership, print newspaper is at a loss to the new future of the news.

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