Two articles today suggest how tough it’s becoming to turn a buck in the print media world. Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine and founder of eWeek, notes in “Whither Mags”, that major print efforts require a huge capital outlay before they can even hope to be profitable, and that the current high risk associated with print publications means we probably won’t see nearly as many new big magazine efforts.
Even more ominous is the New York Times report today showing circulation declines almost across the board for US Newspapers. The NYT Article “More Readers Trading Newspapers for Websites” has a great graphic showing how circulation has fallen at most newspapers since last year with an average drop of 2.4%. Given the relatively thin profit margins at many papers and the fact many costs are fixed this does not bode well at all for the future of newspapers. The future of news? That is a far more complex question and I think the answer is not knowable at this time. Blogs are picking up some of the journalistic slack, but I’m not convinced they can pick up all of it.
The future of news?
Dismantling big publishing conglomerates and urban newspaper rackets would be a good thing, presumably. Not sure individual blogs can do that much, tho’ the Indy Media people believe in their cause. Indy Media is a bit too “fringe” and leftist for many (in urban areas, LA, SF, gays seem to be directing most of the Indy Media programming), but in spirit not completely mistaken.
Wealthy and/or corporate persons probably ignore public journalism, Indy Medias, fringe blogs. Those who are not so wealthy might not ignore ’em–yet most techies, IT people, or academics don’t care to align themselves with unionists, strikes, migrant workers, anarchists, etc. Some of the Indy Media people in CA however do provide an interesting and rather alarming picture of the underbellies of LA or SF or the central Valley: I respect the journalists or documentarians who would put cameras in cops’ faces as they shake people down in poor areas.
A person’s choice of News, whether daily or national, thus relates to his or her social-economic standing. Some of us might choose Slate or Yahoo or Google or DailyKOS, but in urban areas most humans depend on the big dailies for news, info. and/or entertainment. Striking grocery clerks on the other hand might be logged onto Indy Media.
News publishers should have digital version for their print publication. This is the new medium of publications. There is website which I’ve found recently http://www.pressmart.net . This site providing the services of digital versions of print publication through online, RSS, pod casting, etc. Publishers should use these kinds of services to increase their circulations.