Thursday, March 26, 2009

Old Media Giving Way To The New Web Media

Picture from HuffingtonPost

President Brack Obama kicked off a first-of-its-kind Internet era Town Hall at the White House on Thursday, by taking questions posted on by online readers. In opening remarks to kick off the virtual Town Hall Obama said the precedent-setting online town hall meeting was an "an important step" toward creating a broader avenue for information about his administration.

The AP is reporting on a near avalanche of newspapers that are either closing down their print operations or making severe cuts. Apparently things aren't looking up for old media:
The pall looming over U.S. newspapers grew even darker Monday as Gannett Co. informed most of its employees that they will have to take another week of unpaid leave this spring, while a Michigan daily unveiled plans to close its print edition after 174 years.

And The Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper, also ordered pay cuts and 10-day furloughs for nonunion employees Monday to cut costs as advertising revenue drops.
The moves were just the latest sign of the distress afflicting newspapers across the country as they try to cope with a dramatic shift in advertising that is forcing publishers to figure out how to survive with substantially less revenue.
The report is overflowing with newspapers across the country that have been forced to implement more and more drastic cost saving efforts in order to stay afloat. Now, its been clear for quite sometime that the newspaper industry has been hurting but it seems that the situation continues to worsen:
Like most businesses, newspapers have been hard hit by the deepest recession since the early 1980s. But the blow has been especially devastating for newspapers because they were already losing readers and revenue to the Internet, where news can be easily found for free and the advertising rates are substantially lower.

The Internet's allure, coupled with the punishing recession, have caused annual advertising revenue to shrivel by 20 percent to 30 percent at some newspaper publishers since 2006.
Not surprisingly the AP skips over an important factor in these papers' collective downfall. That factor being their obvious and undeniable bias for the conservative message and against the progressive message. While it is certainly true that old media's failure to quickly adapt to a new media world has been one of the main causes of their struggle it is equally true that their bias toward uncritically forwarding the talking points of the far right conservative message machine, which often denigrates any left-of-center message, has left their former readers, who are increasingly turning away from conservative ideology, looking for other information sources. Obama very wisely continues to take advange of that trend.

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