Something’s Missing in the CA

Besides the truth, that is.
And objectivity. And information. And integrity.
That’s a lot to have missing, in fact the core of what journalism is supposed to be. But all that’s been gone for a long time. Subscribers have come to expect biased reporting with a political agenda.

However, lately something else has been missing. Ads. Ads mean revenue. They must be in dire straits.

Gannett is. The Guardian, a Leftist British paper, is left to shine the light. “Gannett, the largest local newspaper owner in the US, has lost a scarcely believable 94% of its value since August 2019, much of that loss coming since mid-February.”

One day recently, ads, besides ads for their own product, amounted to one page. Currently, the ads resemble something that used to be in tabloid junk papers – nasal cures, immune system boosters – that sort of thing.

Media post wrote in late March:

Reporters and editors who earn more than $38,000 annually will be scheduled to take an unpaid week off on a rotating basis, according to a memo obtained by Poynter from Maribel Wadsworth, president of the USA Today Network at Gannett and publisher of USA Today.

Executives will take a 25% pay reduction, according to a separate memo from Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert. Bascobert will take no pay until the furloughs and pay reductions have been reversed.

Though “direct sold advertising has already slowed and many businesses have paused their scheduled marketing campaigns,” Gannett is seeing “a spike in our digital traffic and online subscriptions as readers turn to us as a trusted source for information,” Bascobert wrote.

“Overall, though, we expect our revenue to decline considerably during this period, and we need to address this situation head on,” he added.

They’ve always considered that digital sales would save them. So far, they have not. Now they have competition with the Daily Memphian which is all digital. The DM’s kind of a second tier knock off since many of the CA reporters decamped there. At least it is giving coronavirus updates free and it does concentrate on Memphis. The CA is usually full of Nashville folk and Nashville pictures.

The Guardian adds:

Media outlets across the US have already responded to a huge drop in advertising triggered by the economic shutdown by sacking scores of employees. Some newspapers, just as demand is at its highest, have stopped printing – reverting to a digital-only operation that is just as vulnerable to the whims of advertisers.

The decrease in advertising was swift, as businesses tightened spending due to the economic impact of Covid-19. For a journalism industry already barely scraping by, the impact was almost immediate.

Penny Abernathy, the Knight chair in journalism and digital media economics at the University of North Carolina, predicts a swath of newspapers and websites will close.

“I think there’ll be hundreds, not dozens,” Abernathy said.

Powerline suggest that what might be next is government funded and controlled newspapers.
John Hinderaker says, “Why not? That would end the pretense that reporters and editors have any kind of independence or objectivity. A more honest idea, though, would be for them to be funded by the Democratic National Committee. They’re not fooling anyone, anyway.”

At least it would be more honest.

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