Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Journalists Keep Bailing on Newspapers

Linotype operators in an 1891 drawing; they're setting type for a newspaper^

The evidence of the impending death of newspapers just keeps piling up and Julie Moos of the Poynter Institute--which has become something of a Bible for journojockeys (especially now that Editor & Publisher is toast)--gives some specifics of a number of veteran, accomplished newsies who are leaving papers without leaving news. Here's her column.

I don't know if you'd call this a snowball effect, but I'm just not hearing many good arguments from newspaper people about why they should stay where they are. The local daily in Roanoke, which has fired so many of its best journalists in recent months, has lost 10 percent of its circulation in a year, according to the monitoring service ABC, but it keeps denying anything's amiss. It is even pouring scarce resources into its failed business publication, promising great things from a bi-weekly whose earning potential is ever-so-minimal, even if it succeeds.

Newspapers have been accused of everything but good decisions in the past five or so years and those decisions are pushing the best of their products' producers--the top journalists--into niches, the 'net, television, radio, anywhere but the delivery system that has served this nation since its founding. But, like so much that was around in the 18th century, they are out of touch, out of date and they're fading fast.

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