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The Deadline Approaches

Print media has been in a steep decline for years.

Declining ad revenue, mismanagement, biased editing, the 24 hour news cycle, and, most importantly, the rise of the internet, have culminated into the downfall of the once mighty print media empire.

Take for example, the New York Times, and its sister rag, the Boston Globe. The Times has a debt last quarter of $1.3 billion. The globe expects to lose $85 million in 2009.

Times is tough.

Alas, not to worry!

The Senate's most esteemed empty suit, John F-ing Kerry, wind sails to the rescue with a reassuring letter stating he is "committed to your fight, committed to your industry, and committed to ensuring that vital public service newspapers provide does not disappear."

Translation: Democrats are spooked of loosing a valuable propaganda mouthpiece if newspapers sink.

Mr. Kerry has assured the newspapers that he will call for hearings "to address the woes of the nations print medium."

What Mr. Kerry fails to or elects not to understand, is that if these newspapers would report events instead of spinning everything into mini-editorials, readers would be more apt to take the content seriously. Being preached to by entrenched, elitist, leftist blowhards is not news. It is tainted opinion. Propaganda at its most blatant, and it is starting to nip the tails of the powers that be.

If this trend continues, and it will, you will see a movement in congress to to bailout the print media industry.

You can put that in writing.


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Comments (50)

The Dems might just as well... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

The Dems might just as well go all in. Have the government take over ownership of all the failing newspapers and rename them all "Pravda" and they can just be propaganda tools for the Democrat Party.

Their content would be exactly the same as it's always been anyway...

If Congress moves to bail o... (Below threshold)
TOhio:

If Congress moves to bail out the corrupt media, then we need to Tea Party it!

I hope that all of the liberal mainstream media goes under. They share the blame for Obama mess and need to pay for it.

We should be urging all Tea Party people to:
1. Stop watching CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC
2. Stop buying newspapers like the New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post
3. Stop buying magazines like Newsweek

Thay all need to go and we need to PREVENT and STOP the government from taking our money to prop up these Democratic Party propaganda machines.

As far as I am concerned, they can't go under fast enough!

As usual, wingnuts don't un... (Below threshold)
mantis:

As usual, wingnuts don't understand the fundamental issue. The problems facing newspapers are not due to declining readership. More people read newspaper stories today than ever. The problem is the old business model doesn't work in today's media environment (for reasons you cite).

While wingnuts may like having an endzone dance over the decline of newspaper profits, they foolishly believe it's because newspapers are "too liberal." This conveniently ignores right-wing papers that are losing money as well, and the extremely obvious contradiction of increased, not decreased, reader numbers. But ignoring inconvenient facts in service a preconceived conclusion is the wingnut's stock in trade.

Journalism as an industry has to adapt to the new media environment in order to survive. They will, eventually, but the transition will be messy.

"Mr. Kerry has assured the ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Mr. Kerry has assured the newspapers that he will call for hearings "to address the woes of the nations print medium."

Well Johnny, the 'woe' is lack of income. Only way to address that is with money. So why don't you just come on out and say it? Write some legislation. You've been there long enough to see how others have done it, although you haven't written any yourself. You can call it "The Preservation of Democratic Mouthpieces".

Great comment, Mantis. Sums... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Great comment, Mantis. Sums it up well.

Don't really understand why there is so much animosity towards newspapers - I think a lot of the time they are awful at what they do but by no means will their downfall be beneficial.

Can you imagine how ill-informed you would be if you relied on blogs like Wizbang for news?
depp=true
notiz=One more time, there will be no goodbyes jp2.

Mantis,Please help... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

Mantis,

Please help this "wingnut" understand. Please use small words, because I am a little slow. By "more people are reading newspaper stories than ever before" do you mean that they are getting the content free, via the web? Because circulation numbers are in decline:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/28/business/media/28circ.html

I realize that my link is back to the New York Times and who can believe them, anyway?

On the other hand, one of the papers mentioned as not losing circulation is that left-leaning "Wall Street Journal."

Is the "new media environment" one in which you give your product away for free, but make your revenue up by increasing volume?

Have the governmen... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
Have the government take over ownership of all the failing newspapers and rename them all "Pravda" and they can just be propaganda tools for the Democrat Party.
I think you're on to something. Of course, when the Democrats propose their newspaper bailout legislation, the Republicans should oppose it, but I would also like to see them offer an amendment to it that requires any newspaper accepting any bailout to change their name to include the word "Pravda". Then people can decide when they read the Boston Globe-Pravda or The New York Pravda-Times just how credible the reporting is.
Ecstatic to see the NY Time... (Below threshold)
sam:

Ecstatic to see the NY Times slowly dying. Couldn't happen to a nicer bi**h.

Ah yes, a "valuable propaga... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Ah yes, a "valuable propaganda mouthpiece". Where would Democrats be without allies such as Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Maureen Dowd, George Will, Judith Miller, Fred Hiatt...

But Frank Rich and Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman are meanies and big fat stupid-heads so proceed with fact-free teeth-gnashing, wingnuts.

mantis - "As usual, win... (Below threshold)
marc:

mantis - "As usual, wingnuts don't understand the fundamental issue. The problems facing newspapers are not due to declining readership. More people read newspaper stories today than ever."

Nice way to start a conversation mantis, turn about is fair play.

To add to what "SER" posted and to counter nutzoid mantis I offer this (Oct 2008):

U.S. newspapers reported sharper circulation declines in the latest figures released by an industry group on Monday, pointing to more glum times ahead for publishers already racked by falling advertising revenue.

Average weekday circulation at 507 papers was about 38.2 million copies for the period ended September 30, 2008, according to the U.S. Audit Bureau of Circulations. That was a 4.6 percent drop from the same six-month period a year ago.
Sunday circulation, which was measured at 571 papers, fell 4.9 percent to about 43.6 million copies. That drop also accelerated -- last year's Sunday decline was 3.5 percent.
Circulation figures refer to copies of newspapers that people pay for, as opposed to bulk or discounted copies that are counted in other ways. The figures are important measures of the industry's health in two ways: on a simple level, they illustrate the bigger trend of how many fewer people are reading print newspapers. From a business standpoint, they also are an important measure for advertisers trying to determine whom they will pay to carry their messages.
To partially plagiarize someone, "As usual, nutzoids don't understand the fundamental issue
By "more people are read... (Below threshold)
mantis:

By "more people are reading newspaper stories than ever before" do you mean that they are getting the content free, via the web?

Yes.

On the other hand, one of the papers mentioned as not losing circulation is that left-leaning "Wall Street Journal."

They've been largely immune, like USA Today, due to the fact that businesses and hotels still subscribe in large numbers.

Is the "new media environment" one in which you give your product away for free, but make your revenue up by increasing volume?

Haha. I honestly don't know how things will play out, but by "new media environment" I mean an environment that offers so many more choices to the consumer (24-hour news, intertrons, etc.).

The fact that Craigslist killed newspaper classified ads, news websites have no substitute for Sunday ad supplements, and the decline in print circulation due to increased online readership all combine for a trifecta of newspaper revenue decline.

The irony of it all is that bloggers, some of whom proclaim victory over newspapers because they're "too liberal," are partly responsible for the increase in online readership of newspapers, as they link so often to their stories. Without the MSM, bloggers would have very little to talk about (except maybe their cats).

Are all those words small enough for you?

We live near Atlanta, the m... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

We live near Atlanta, the main paper is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their numbers have been declining for years. They used to deliver papers to the counties outside the metro area - but they stopped that last year to save money. They won't even mail them outside the local counties.

Oddly enough, their subscriber numbers are down about 16% over the last year.

And they're announcing cuts of about a third of their newsroom. But not to fear!

On April 28, we launch an updated and improved newspaper for you. Not to be overly proud, but it's great work by so many people in the newsroom and throughout the company.

We spent much of 2008 listening to hundreds of readers about what they want from their AJC. What we heard was gratifying. You don't want a magazine. You don't want a splashy tabloid. You don't want blogs on paper. You want a newspaper -- well crafted and relevant. You want us to celebrate the good as well as expose the bad. You want us to rededicate ourselves to the cause of making metro Atlanta a better place for us all. You want us to be fair and balanced - and transparent about what we do. And you want us to be efficient, so the time you invest with us is well spent.
How about just reporting the news, with a bit of analysis, and letting US decide what's relevant? Or is THAT too much to ask?

http://blogs.ajc.com/ajc/2009/04/18/get-ready-for-changes-april-28/

Maybe those changes will help, but I think they're in a death spiral. Cut your news staff, reorganize the paper - watch subscriptions fall, cut your news staff, reorganize the paper... cut a day out to save money, watch subscriptions fall, cut staff, reorganize again - become a weekly... then disappear.

If I recall correctly, newspapers don't live by subscriber revenue, they exist on that AND the ad revenue. But the ad revenue is driven by subscriber numbers. You don't get much in the way of ad revenue from on-line viewing, you don't get ANY from areas you stop physically serving. The NYTimes tried an on-line subscriber model, as I recall, that failed because not enough people would pay for news that can be found easily elsewhere on line.

Back in '93, they had an average Sunday readership of about a million. Now they're doing good to get a quarter of that, and the population in the metro area has more than doubled.

I guess we'll see where it all goes, but it's not really looking too good for the AJC. You don't cut service to a lot of your delivery area unless you're really hurting.

Declining ad revenue? Perha... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Declining ad revenue? Perhaps they are rethinking the special rate given to MoveOn for the "Betray Us" ad. Naaah... They'll have to double the bill for the bloodsucking capitalists so MoveOn can advertise for free.

(That was the AJC in '93, b... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

(That was the AJC in '93, by the way, not the NYTimes.)

You could put Pravda in the... (Below threshold)
Matt:

You could put Pravda in the name of every government sponsoroed newspaper and most readers wouldn't get it. They'd just assume you meant Prada and mispelled it.

Online readership doesn't pay the bills for a newspaper. Many people move to read some articles online because they refuse to pay for what is otherwise a lousy product.

In my community the paper has historically been lousy but the only one, they are still loosing readership. The quality of their writing is poor, they over emphasize liberal politicas and politicians and it is a rare day when they report anything in more depth than what an official agency hands them. They consistently refuse to report major stories if they make the city or city council look bad. To seal their fate they made the paper smaller, decreased add space and doubled the price of the adds.

Mantis, could I please get a list of the right-wing papers? I'd like to read some.

"Can you imagine how ill-in... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Can you imagine how ill-informed you would be if you relied on blogs like Wizbang for news?"-jp2

There wouldn't be a Wizbang as we know it.
Kevin would hang on but eventually let the domain lapse and Wizbangblog would become a parking site or a redirection portal.

Or a [shudder!] diary. In which case beg Jay Tea to come back; he's less depressing than Shawn Mallow in his basement. :-)

It doesn't matter why these... (Below threshold)
TOhio:

It doesn't matter why these newspapers are going under. I'm glad that it's happening.

They masquerade as objective news organizations, but are liberal propaganda machines.

The country will be better off without these duplicitous Democratic Party rags.

Mantis, could I please g... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, could I please get a list of the right-wing papers? I'd like to read some.

New York Post, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review are the big heavy right-wing papers. Smaller examples include the Manchester Union-Leader and Daily Oklahoman. Many cities have conservative-leaning and liberal-leaning papers, in terms of the editorial board, such as the Chicago Tribune (conservative), compared to the Sun-Times (liberal).

One interesting difference for those who think all or most newspapers are liberal. The so-called "liberal" papers like the NYTimes, WaPo, and LATimes all employ conservative opinion writers. How many liberal opinion writers can you find in papers like the NYPost and WaTimes? (Here's an interesting report on syndicated columnists in US newspapers. Try to get past the ad hominem and look at the data)

Atlanta had that - the libe... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Atlanta had that - the liberal paper in the morning, conservative in the evening. Then the publisher combined the editions about 7, 8 years back. Lot of people saw it as a bad move at the time - and by the circulation numbers, it was.

One thing I'd like is if the papers stuck to reporting news, and leave the opinion out completely.

The Washington Post is "lib... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

The Washington Post is "liberal"? Huh? Fred Hiatt only gives editorial space to old white men. Hardly a liberal/progressive set of voices, that.

And the NY Times and WaPo were nearly as enthusiastic as the Moonie-Freak Times and NY Post in drumming up support for the invasion of Iraq, only souring on it in order to catch up with public opinion. Judith Miller, anyone?

Hyper, you are pro baby sea... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, you are pro baby seal clubbing to death. You have no credibility because of your obvious shallowness and respect for life.

I used to love reading the newspaper front to back daily. But since the reporters started putting in the editorial slant or use slanted wording to twist a story, I lost interest. Wasn't worth the aggravation.

You extreme lefty trolls need to understand that conservatives do not base the bias by the editorial pages. By the news pages themselves you nit wits. Not a bright bunch. ww

WildWillie, you probably th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

WildWillie, you probably think you're being clever, but you're just making yourself look stupid. (Quelle surprise!) Clubbing a seal is like killing a cow with a pneumatic gun. That one of those animals happens to be cute is no reason not to kill it, insofar as we accept that it is acceptable to kill the other.

So you get your news from... your horoscope? Farmer's Almanac? (Just kidding. Everyone knows that you're totally oblivious to the outside world and haven't entertained a single new thought since Carter left office.) What's an "extreme lefty"? Someone who supports Obama? Do you really think that there are 180,000,000 "extreme lefties" in the United States right now? Consider this, Willie: maybe you have a skewed perception of the political spectrum.

I hate myself for responding to you.

if these newspapers woul... (Below threshold)
Brian:

if these newspapers would report events instead of spinning everything into mini-editorials, readers would be more apt to take the content seriously. Being preached to by entrenched, elitist, leftist blowhards is not news. It is tainted opinion.

Yeah, they should act more like the untainted broadcast networks that urge their viewers to "fight the fascism".

Oops, <a href="http://www.y... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Oops, link (not that everyone hasn't seen it already).

Folks, let me split the bab... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Folks, let me split the baby.

Newspapers are dying mainly because the Internet has gutted their classified and other revenue, and given many readers another source of info that they see as equal. That is the primary reason.

AND.... anyone who does not believe that the relentless liberal bias of both many newspapers and network broadcasters, populated as they are by post-Watergate babies who got into the business specifically to "change" things, has not played a significant role in their decline, is a damn fool.

Imagine Ford motor company in the 70's suddenly is hit by a challenge from Datsun (Nissan) and Toyota.... oh, and, just for kicks, at the very same time, they decide to insult and antagonize every single American who happens to live west of the Missippi... just because they feel like it. Smart business model, no?

That is exactly what MSM journalism has chosen to do, and their "slobbering love affair" with the current Hopey-Changey CinC has just piled it on all the more.

I would weep for the loss of these papers. The New York Times is a century and a half old institution. I would mourn their loss.

But the tap dancers on their graves here believe they were corrupted.... and lost.... a long time ago. Arguably, they are right.

Hypergirlie,"I hat... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Hypergirlie,

"I hate myself for responding to you"

Typical liberal, you're so full of hate you'll even hate yourself.

And Shawn, You're right, our congress will propose a newspaper bailout.....

I apologize to myself for h... (Below threshold)
Hyperapologist:

I apologize to myself for hating myself for responding to you. Sorry to rush off, but I need to get back to reading the current issue of People's Voice.

BTW, further to the above, ... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

BTW, further to the above, here is a great little blog posting from las year on this....

On Hambugers and Journalism

Lotta trees'll be saved if ... (Below threshold)
Alex:

Lotta trees'll be saved if newspapers vanish. I fail to see a downside.

brian - "Yeah, they sho... (Below threshold)
marc:

brian - "Yeah, they should act more like the untainted broadcast networks that urge their viewers to "fight the fascism"."

Let go of that straw, you'll fall into the abyss.

anyone who does not beli... (Below threshold)
mantis:

anyone who does not believe that the relentless liberal bias of both many newspapers and network broadcasters, populated as they are by post-Watergate babies who got into the business specifically to "change" things, has not played a significant role in their decline, is a damn fool.

How can that be so if there are more readers of newspapers now (less subscriptions, but more readers, counting online)? And if that were true, wouldn't newspapers in heavily liberal areas see an increase in circulation? Shouldn't the San Francisco Chronicle be profiting wildly?

Sorry, but the facts don't support your conclusions.

Hyper, it is no surprise to... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, it is no surprise to me that you hate yourself.

Your comments always have an air of looking down your snooty nose at us mere mortals.

You specificly listed conservative or moderate editorial writers when that is not the point. If it is an editorial, who would mind when labeled as such? Duh!

For an intellectual self proclaimed giant, you have limited ability. ww

And if that were t... (Below threshold)
And if that were true, wouldn't newspapers in heavily liberal areas see an increase in circulation? Shouldn't the San Francisco Chronicle be profiting wildly?

Not necessarily. The loss of "red" readership of a big city daily that has veered "blue" is most likely greater than the pickup they would attract from any "blue" readers, most of whom probably get their news from the local alt-weekly tabloids, which tend to be more "blue" then the mainstream paper. In other words, they're moving into a market that's already being adequately covered by the alt-weeklies, and are suffering as a result.

I'm so happy to hear from s... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I'm so happy to hear from some here that the decline of many, many newspapers has nothing at all to do with their not only overwhelmingly endorsing Democrat political candidates, but lavishing praise on them and failing to question near anything about them while sending hordes of reporters to far off lands to dig up dirt on one previously little known woman.

I'm so happy to blindly assume that there's likely no correlation whatsoever with the fact that the most "liberal" television news can't even get into the same ballpark as [insert most hated news station by "liberals" here] when it comes to viewers.

And let us not forget that "liberal" radio shows are but a candle light lost in a sea of hundred watt bulbs that conservative radio shows are.

Nope. It's all about the business model. Has nothing to do with content, honesty, fairness, balance.
-------------------
NB: I put the word liberal in quotes, because many of the "liberals" here are anything BUT.

The loss of "red" reader... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The loss of "red" readership of a big city daily that has veered "blue" is most likely greater than the pickup they would attract from any "blue" readers, most of whom probably get their news from the local alt-weekly tabloids, which tend to be more "blue" then the mainstream paper.

Got anything to back that up? Don't forget, you know, the suburbs, where all the growth you're talking about is happening. Are the Bay Area suburbanites all getting their news from alt-weeklies? Is the decline of both the Tribune and Sun-Times in Chicago despite the increased suburban population in an ever more "blue" metropolitan area because they're all getting their news from the Reader's Guide? I'm sure the folks at Chicago Reader would be surprised to hear that, based on their ad revenue (for those not familiar, the Reader's Guide is the smaller suburban version of the city's most popular free weekly, Chicago Reader).

I used to love to read the ... (Below threshold)

I used to love to read the paper. The daily editorials, the little news snippets, the wonderful life style articles, the paper and a cup of coffee was my way to start the day.

On the weekends, my husband and I would sprawl out with coffee and twine our feet together and devour the more weighty articles and the book reviews. I have great memories of this, and that's all I have.

The newspapers poisoned their product. They are so biased, so revolting and so full of propaganda that I finally stopped reading them altogether. The newspapers had to drive me away. They did so.

(If you read J.K. Rowling, she gets it too. The Daily Prophet, the wizard newspaper, is nothing but a propaganda mouthpiece for the Ministry.)

I'm so happy to blindly ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'm so happy to blindly assume that there's likely no correlation whatsoever with the fact that the most "liberal" television news can't even get into the same ballpark as [insert most hated news station by "liberals" here] when it comes to viewers.

Well, what do you classify as "liberal" television news? Does it include the broadcast network news? Must not, since you surely know that the cable news networks don't come near the their numbers. If not, which cable news stations are "liberal?" If it's CNN and MSNBC, then together they beat FOX News's numbers. Personally I don't see CNN as liberally biased, just overpopulated with idiots. MSNBC has clearly decided to adopt the FOX model but from the left, and seems to be doing well because of it. I still don't see why anyone would want to get their news from any of those stations, but that's me.

As for radio, you are right that liberal talk has never caught on anywhere near like conservative talk radio has. I've never quite figured out exactly why that is, but my guess is it has something to do with the fact that liberals enjoy NPR in great numbers, and don't see the need for several hour long shows of some glorified DJs opinions. They like their radio as news along with arts programming, not so much blowhards like Garafalo and Rhodes. I do, anyway.

Mantis, speaking of facts, ... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Mantis, speaking of facts, you got yours wrong, as well as logic.

April 22nd cable ratings show FOX beats CNN and MSNBC with about 50% extra to spare, both daily and prime time. Ratings for the 21st and back are similar.

Cable ratings

Regarding the SF Chronicle, just because conservatives drop out of circulation numbers does not mean that liberals will then start buying in. All it means is that the percentage of the Chronicle's audience that is liberal will rise. Thus a bigger slice of a smaller pie. (Could this be a factor in news and editorial decision making, thus creating a vicious circle of sorts? Hmmm.)

As for getting more readers, McDonald's would likely serve a lot more hamburgers than Burger King if they suddenly offered their food for free.
The simple fact is, and you can read some commenters here stating it clearly, many many conservatives who were loyal and longtime subscribers suddenly had the Net AND just took a hard look at these papers and said "Why am I paying for this?" And circulation went down, and ad rates with it, and the journey to the drain began.

I was very clear that "liberism" is not the only factor, but it really is like, with the Ford anology, at the very moment the papers faced a huge competitor in the information business, they chose to redouble their efforts to piss off a good 40%+ of their potetntial audience. Just stupid business, and stupid business leads to failure.

And guess what? They're failing.

They like their news spoon ... (Below threshold)
914:

They like their news spoon fed to their liberal puddy minds you mean. NPR is for the weak uncut unchallenged minds out there, of which unfortunately there are many.

I pretty much gave up on NP... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I pretty much gave up on NPR 'news' in the mid-80s. They had a segment on something I knew a fair amount about, and they misrepresented a lot of it. Checked a few other things over the next few months at random, and they were at odds with newspaper reporting of the same issues. So it got down to a point of figuring out which was more trustworthy. NPR lost.

Used to listen to them on long trips since there was a fair amount of coverage of the state through repeaters - but since sat radio came in, I don't listen to AM or FM, so they;'ve lost at least ONE listener...

I agree absolutely with Fra... (Below threshold)
wright:

I agree absolutely with Frazetta-girl. I used to read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune regularly - and I especially enjoyed the editorial pages/letters to the editor. Recently, however, I canceled my subscription, and told them that the reason is that I couldn't stomach their bias any more. And its not just editorial page bias; it infects their 'news' as well, both in how they cover it and in what they choose to omit. I can't say that that is the reason, or even a reason, that the Strib and other papers are in freefall, but I can say that it is the reason I stopped subscribing. I enjoy on-line commentary and news as much as anyone, but there's nothing like the morning paper with that first cup o' joe of the day, so I would have preferred to keep the Strib, but they made it impossible for me. Pushing their agenda was more important to them than my subscription - let them take that to the bank.

April 22nd cable ratings... (Below threshold)
mantis:

April 22nd cable ratings show FOX beats CNN and MSNBC with about 50% extra to spare, both daily and prime time. Ratings for the 21st and back are similar.

Well, I included CNN Headline News in my calculations, and added together they equal or beat FOX most of the time. The point is if you believe that all cable news except FOX is left wing, then there's not much evidence that FOX is more successful, it just doesn't have any competition on the right wing side.

Regarding the SF Chronicle, just because conservatives drop out of circulation numbers does not mean that liberals will then start buying in.

Why not? Why wouldn't the liberals start buying in, in an area of increasing population, with a newspaper that you claim is "liberal?"

Thus a bigger slice of a smaller pie.

Shouldn't it be a bigger slice of a bigger pie, since the overall population has grown?

The simple fact is, and you can read some commenters here stating it clearly, many many conservatives who were loyal and longtime subscribers suddenly had the Net AND just took a hard look at these papers and said "Why am I paying for this?" And circulation went down, and ad rates with it, and the journey to the drain began.

Drop in circulation has been accompanied by many trends, including the rise in cable news, internet news, and blogs. Your contention that the opinions of a few random blog commenters had an effect is foolish. The plural of anecdote is not data, and I'm not inclined to believe rightwingers who do nothing but whine about the liberal media when they say "oh, I used to be a loyal reader, but then...." (it's the same thing when someone comes here and says "I was a loyal conservative, but then Bush or whatever happened and now I'm a liberal. Do you believe them?) I've been reading newspapers for decades, and I haven't noticed any change in bias. Shouldn't my affection for papers have grown in that time, since you guys all claim they became more liberal, and I'm a liberal? Does my anecdote matter?

Got anything to ba... (Below threshold)
Got anything to back that up?

Off the top of my head, no. But I thought it would be fairly obvious that making editorial decisions that drive away half your potential subscribers is a crappy business model.

I've been reading ... (Below threshold)
I've been reading newspapers for decades, and I haven't noticed any change in bias. Shouldn't my affection for papers have grown in that time, since you guys all claim they became more liberal, and I'm a liberal? Does my anecdote matter?

Of course it's difficult to account for individual tastes, but overall, I think the country has grown a lot more politically polarized in the past twenty years. Also, if I can get my own anecdote in as a counter to yours, I have noticed that the NY Times has grown more stridently liberal over time, particularly the editorials (the Washington Post, not as much).

They paid Bill Kristol to w... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

They paid Bill Kristol to write editorials, OregonMuse. And while you probably think Maureen Dowd is a liberal--socially liberal, for sure--she just wastes a lot of ink with petty sniping, whether it's directed at Bush or Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Bill Kristol? Kristol actua... (Below threshold)

Bill Kristol? Kristol actually left his gig with the Times several weeks ago, so you're behind the times. But for the sake of the discussion, let's say he didn't. You think the NY Times editorial page can be accurately characterized by bringing up Bill f**king Kristol? That's a seriously lame defense.

Aside from the aforementioned Maureen Dowd, who is liberal, like, all the time, the NY Times also hosts two of the most demented BDS-infected left wing loons in the business, Paul Krugman and Frank Rich. Also, there's the reliably liberal Bob Herbert and Nick Kristof.

And then there's David Brooks as a sort of tame "house conservative" or mascot.

Oh, and don't forget Gail Collins. Yeah, she's a real neo-con.

So in the face of all the evidence, go ahead and explain to everyone here how the NY Times editorial pages is just too damn conservative. I don't think you'll have much success.

Paul Krugman--the second mo... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Paul Krugman--the second most reliable economic voice of the past five years, next to Nouriel Roubini.

Yes, why would they give him a few hundred words per week? It's not like the guy sells papers. It's not like people appreciate sage-like economic advice in a time like this.

I never said it's too conservative. I was pointing out that it has something for everyone; and beyond the editorial page, it has consistently best-in-class automotive, food, entertainment (film, music, and stage), and travel writing. There is reason enough for anyone to browse their website at the very least.

Paul Krugman--the ... (Below threshold)
Paul Krugman--the second most reliable economic voice of the past five years, next to Nouriel Roubini.

That's pretty funny. Donald Luskin over at NRO has made a cottage industry of pointing out Krugman's distortions, half truths, and out and out lies.

I was pointing out that it has something for everyone

The NY Times gives you the the world as seen by uptown Manhattan liberals. It is produced by uptown Manhattan liberals, for uptown Manhattan liberals and those who want to be uptown Manhattan liberals, and reinforce all their prejudices, which are just as limited and parochial as an Alabama redneck's. Anyone not of this mindset has to discard a lot of the paper in order to get to something he may find worthwhile to read. After a certain point, it's just not worth it.

I stand by my main point: the NY Times used to be a better paper than it is now. It has become more and more stridently left wing over the years. As I said earlier, driving away half your potential subsribers is not a good business model.

Some very good commentary h... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

Some very good commentary here amidst the droppings through which I must wend my way lest I get something smelly on my shoes. FrazettaGirl, Oyster, Wright and others make evocative observations that remain forever beyond the reach of the liberal mind.

OregonMuse, thanks for holding down the fort

You broadbrush with your as... (Below threshold)
maggie:

You broadbrush with your assumptions bryanD.
Unless of course you're prescient, and would
like to advise Kevin on how to run his
business.




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