June 07, 2021

Newspapers Want a Government Bailout

God forbid that local media should actually find a way to exist in the market-driven economy. Local News Coverage Is Declining — And That Could Be Bad For American Politics

It is all COVID-19's fault. Or is it?

The pandemic, however, merely accelerated a crisis in local journalism that is now at least two decades old. From 2000 to 2018, weekday newspaper circulation fell from 55.8 million households to an estimated 28.6 million; between 2008 and 2019, newsroom employment fell by 51 percent; and since 2004, more than 1,800 local newspapers have closed across the nation.

Local news has never been able to deal with the fact that their existence was threatened as soon as Craigslist came on the scene, and devastated their classified advertising business. And they have never liked to admit that classified advertising was more important to most people than the editorial page.

And in what has to be a mistake, they admit that minimum wage laws hurt business.

Government policies like tax breaks and exemptions from some labor laws and minimum wage and overtime rules have benefited newspapers since the 18th century.

How can it be that minimum wage laws are good for everyone but newspapers?

Then they talk about hedge funds. As for all the bad things being laid at the feet of hedge funds, well, let's look at an example; a newspaper that was only JUST purchased. Chicago Contrarian - Let the Hedge Fund Vulture Pick at the Chicago Tribune Carcass

In a world enraptured with equity, justice, and anti-merit principles, that the Chicago Tribune finds itself the meal of “vulture” hedge fund Alden Global Capital, should come as no surprise to anyone. The notion of the now left-leaning paper guising itself as some sort of objective foundational bedrock of a free and healthy functioning democracy deserving of continued life support, appears laughable, especially given it has lost its core audience by editorial design (more on this in a minute).

With the exception of a few good reporters, who will find great positions because they view themselves as reporters and not citizen activists and will always land on their feet, the journalist base of the Tribune has been eviscerated, as seasoned expert reporters and columnists (e.g., Blair Kamin in the architecture realm) have been replaced by millennials straight out of journalism school.

And it didn't start with COVID-19. The current set of financial woes date at least to 2006 when the paper underwent a leveraged buyout - that included $13 billion of debt. It went bankrupt shortly after that.

And the Chicago Contrarian story has an echo of the first link at the top... Democracy is at risk.

Tribune journalists even penned an op-ed claiming truth in journalism and our democracy remain at risk if the paper is taken over by Alden.

Which is why the story at the top is pleading for a .gov bailout.

The first article is worth a glance, maybe, because of the "We can't survive in the market, so we want to do away with the market" stance of the Left, but the 2nd link has much on the decline of The Chicago Tribune. How they fired senior editors and reporters and hired a bunch of kids who can't be bothered about reporting when there are serious opinions to hide in the news. And then there is this suggestion on how to get the readership back.

And finally go to war with City Hall and Cook County without tiptoeing around a mayor who does not even want an audience with reporters which lack specific skin hues and ‘lived experiences’ — a politician in over her head who can’t be bothered to even subscribe anymore because of pettiness. Simply put: stand for something.

4 comments:

  1. I am a voracious reader. Even in high school (80's) i read both daily newspapers front to back every day. In college i read WSJ every day, even after graduation, usually local paper where ever i lived and WSJ. And then quality began to slip late 90's. I'm sure it was always bad but you noticed. At this point it's a complete joke, not only are the facts omitted, but they can't even spell, use grammar or use the right word. The decline of America indeed.

    Then it became real obvious by 2000 that the local papers hated me. They hated everything I enjoyed and wanted to restrict everything I felt was important. Well I'm certainly not going to continue to PAY my enemies. so i dropped all the local papers. (at $100 plus dollars a year each even 20 years ago) and WSJ only gave deals to new subscribers and wanted to hammer existing subscribers (like $600 a year) and so they got dropped.

    Now I still read, but not any papers, EVER. I even moved to a new small town in the last year and got the local paper once because it's important esp in a small town. Nope, they hate me too.

    The only people that still subscribe to any local paper are the oldies who have been subscribing for 30 years and still think it's the same paper. After they age out of existence, there won't be anything left. The last street i lived on (7 houses) the only subscriber was a 80 year old couple who had just done it for years, they didn't even read it, just the crossword puzzle)

    fuck 'em, i wouldn't' piss on a "journalist" if they were on fire and the papers can all go bust. That's what they wanted. They wanted me to go away, so go away I did. Hope they enjoy their choice.

    Pretty smart of them to piss off their most important readers.............. Maybe they didn't notice that lefties don't read, and they certainly don't even look at anything that might challenge their limited world view.



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    1. No it wasn't just that you noticed. I used to read WSJ every day. At least through the early 90s. Then as you say the quality changed. From "just the facts" to capitalism is a problem.

      The last time I subscribed to a daily paper was the San Jose Mercury News in the late 1980s. When I left the Bay Area, the local paper where I ended up was already a liberal fish-wrapper.

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  2. Newspapers are in the buggy whip business. They just haven't figured it out yet. I know I'm going to go to the offices of the local bird cage liner on the day they close down and do a happy dance right out front. Avert thine eyes. :-)

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  3. "Democracy Dies in Darkness." The Newspapers are all lined up with pillows because they know better than the general population.

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