Promoted. Originally posted 2009-06-06 11:10:50 -0400. -- GH
As we have been hearing over the past several months, more and more newspapers are finding themselves up against the ropes and shutting down.
I'm not going to get into the printed press' blame game and their claims that if a local newspaper goes under, less "reliable reporting" will be available to the public.
No here in this posting it's not about loss, but gain and opportunity.
While it will be three years next month when I was caught up in the nationwide CBS Radio downsizing, I still keep in touch with former co-workers and do still on occasion listen to or at the very least visit the website of one of my former stations, WTIC-AM in Hartford, CT.
The following piece is a reprint of Press On, Newspapers by Robert Gillis, reprinted with permission. It first appeared in the Foxboro Reporter and The Boston City Paper this May. -- GH
As this is a column about a newspaper, specifically the Boston Globe, allow me to begin with a clarification. I am not an employee of the Foxboro Reporter, never have been. I’m not on staff; I don’t attend their editorial meetings, and at times have even written opinions which were contrary to the Reporter’s own ideas on a subject. For 13 years I have been very grateful to Jeff, and now Bill, for allowing me the opportunity to FREELANCE for the paper and for the privilege of them allowing my words to occupy a space on page 5. It has been, and continues to be, a true honor, and I hope to continue our association for a very long time.
That said, there WAS a time I DID work for a major newspaper, but not in the capacity you might imagine. Back in 1980, right around this time of year, I started selling papers for the Boston Globe. I wasn’t a paperboy – I was actually in the city of Boston, peddling the Globe for 20 cents to passing cars.
The pay was good for a 15 year old back then -- $4.25 a day for two hours of after-school work, plus 6 and one half cents per paper sold.
Less than a week after I started, I got my permanent spot outside Woolworths Department store in Downtown Crossing – where I would stay for three years until I had outgrown the job and left at age 18.
The winters were absolutely brutal; as Leonard Nimoy once said about selling newspapers in a Boston Winter, “That will teach you character.”
I learned to dress in layers very fast.
Jennifer Saba/E&P: NAA Reveals Biggest Ad Revenue Plunge in More Than 50 Years
According to new data released by the Newspaper Association of America, total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006 -- the most severe percent decline since the association started measuring advertising expenditures in 1950.
Oh goddam woe is me. You want some of that revenue back, idiot? Quit charging your locals a portion of one arm and a leg for a two-line, one-week advert to sell a $40 used washing machine. Craigslist has nothing to do with this.
ONB COLUMBUS: Ohio blog site DaytonOS posted a link to a story by Editor & Publisher about how the Buckeye State's top newspapers, looking for an alternative to the high rates the Associated Press (AP) charges for its stories, pictures and graphics, have inked an agreement share content amongst themselves.
The embattled newspaper business is betting heavily on Web advertising revenue to secure its survival. But that wager is hardly a sure thing.
Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. compares the current state of the Internet to television in the age of "Howdy Doody."
Which is probably a good comparison, given that America's sources of news and information more closely resemble the dummy, with advertisers filling in as the ventriloquists. The failure of the newspaper industry, and media in general to understand the basic dynamics of this "new" (oh puh-lease) medium is evident on every single one of their websites.
Like our political candidates, the news industry has come to rely almost totally on advertising firms and consultants, most (if not all) of whom meet around big tables with storyboards, recommending cockamamie floating adverts, embedded multimedia sidebar "billboards", and the ubiquitous "polly gets a cookie for the visit" crap as poor substitutes for a clean blank screen with a box enabling the visitor to simply ask a question.