The Death of Newspapers

If you follow news about the media at all, you've recently seen a spate of stories about newspapers around the country slicing and dicing staffs and expenses.

Tucson has not been exempt. Rumors are running rampant that the Arizona Daily Star is asking reporters to work fewer hours in an effort to cut costs; several weeks ago, the morning daily's reader advocate announced a handful of cost-saving measures, such as moving the Sunday opinion pages inside the A section, and moving books coverage to the less-read Thursday paper.

Most of these cuts--although not necessarily all of them--are typical of the dumb-ass greed of today's newspaper companies. It happens all the time: A newspaper has an off quarter or year, profits-wise (they're still profitable, mind you, just not as profitable as shareholders or managers want); management responds by cutting staff and resources to keep profits high; the paper's quality invariably suffers without the resources it had before; readers/advertisers notice this and stop reading or buying ads; a newspaper has another off quarter or year, profits-wise; repeat cycle.

This is slightly oversimplifying, yes, but the fact is that greed--not Craigslist or the Internet or these young whippersnappers today who have short attention spans--will kill off most newspapers as we know them by 2020.

It's sad. I just hope newspaper shareholders and owners get their heads out of their asses and realize that innovation and reinvestment, not insane budget cuts, are the keys to the future. I am not optimistic.

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment