Want the facts? Go buy a newspaper

March 21, 2007

Truman showing incorrect headline

President Harry S Truman shows a headline from the Chicago Tribune, a headline incorrectly calling the previous day’s election for Truman’s opponent.

If textbook fights, school curricula litigation and constant internet sniping got you thinking the clash between science and religion is a tough problem to work on, you should look at the clash between news gathering organizations and their financiers who argue that economics says news should be dead.

Not all should be doom and gloom in the news biz. Tim J. McGuire, dean of the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, argues that the delivery of the news still needs newspapers, and that newspaper economics show that profits can be produced by good, mainstream news outlets: “Writing off newspapers is premature, irresponsible.”

McGuire doesn’t ignore the bad news:

The circulation declines are undeniable. Some metropolitan newspapers have lost 10 percent of their circulation in the past three years. Classified revenues at some big newspapers are off by $50 million to $100 million in the same period. Layoffs and news-hole reductions are breathtaking. Short-sighted corporations are trying to cut their way to better profit margins.

He points to a different view:   Read the rest of this entry »

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