The End of Print Media
Mark Dillen‘s precis of recent developments in the news media is staggering:
The news out of Philadelphia is that there is no news — no newspapers, that is. The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News have joined the swelling ranks of American print media that have gone bankrupt. Last month, it was the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. Late last year, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, owned by the same parent, declared their insolvency. The two newspapers in Detroit, the News and the Free Press, now have home delivery only three days a week. The print version of the Washington Post is stagnant. Even the colossus of American journalism, the New York Times, no longer stands so tall, as several accounts have noted. In its own peculiarly self-conscious way, the NYT recently reported on its own economic plight, although its senior management refused to comment (!) to its own reporter on the company’s travails.
Internationally, the situation is not that much different. The wired world is reading fewer newspapers and, as publishers compensate by raising newstand prices, more readers are driven away. We are left with cable and satellite television, Internet media, and other evolving approaches.
I’ve been vaguely aware of all these developments, of course, but seeing them aggregated so succinctly adds some perspective. Granted, bankruptcy is not the same as “out of business,” so many of those papers are still around. Whether that’ll be the case in the longer run, though, is doubtful.
This all has implications for US public diplomacy, too, which is the actual point of Dillen’s setup.
(Why this post, dated Feb. 24, is just now showing up in my RSS reader, I dunno.)
Photo by Flickr user Giu Giu under Creative Commons license.