November 07, 2005
Circulation Plummets at Times, P-I
P-I: "Seattle newspapers lose circulation"
The P-I slipped by 9 percent, to 132,694 papers sold Monday through Friday in average total paid circulation for the six months ended Sept. 30, according to figures released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The Seattle Times fell by 6.7 percent, to 215,502. The audit organization's comparisons are to the same period one year earlier.
Hmm. I wonder why people are cancelling their subscriptions. Oh, wait. Perhaps this
is a symptom of a fundamental problem that inspires readers to seek their news elsewhere. As is this
. And this
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at November 07, 2005
04:21 PM | Email This
1. I dropped my Times subscription during the Rossi trial. Sure, I miss getting a newspaper, but I will not pay for their rag until they get their act together and do some fair reporting.
People clearly DO care about fairness in journalism. I think most people can handle EDITORIALS that are clearly labeled as such that are one-sided. Most crdible newspapers work hard to have balancing EDITORIAL's too!
The problem is when the whole dang newspaper is one big EDITORIAL. There is a Professional Code of Ethics that newspapers all subscribe to as follows:
Code of Ethics
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society's principles and standards of practice.
Seek Truth and Report It
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story
Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.
How do the Seattle Times and P-I stack up against their own professional ethics???
You be the judge--
I cancelled the P-I long ago for this very reason....
And I'm close to doing the same with the Times.
Mr. Cynical - fantastic post. The "perception" I have about the MSM is that they fail in many respects to the ethics listed above.
When journalists fail to adhere to this set of ethics, yet demand shield laws so that they have the ability to print anything they want without accountability, I begin to wonder about the wisdom of having "freedom of the press".
Within the last month, I have cancelled the Times.
5. And yet, they'll just commit insanity (i.e., keep doing whatever they're doing that ISN'T working) and wonder why people aren't buying it anymore (in more ways than one)
6. The papers are like advertising that strive to
alienate half of it's potential customers. Never
could figure that one out, but it does prove the
liberal mind works on emotion, not logic.
My wife and I canceled the PI two years ago in favor of the Times thinking it might be better. We dumped that about 9 months ago as well. There is nothing I miss in either paper (my wife misses the Sunday coupons but we manage to get the castoffs from the Starbucks paper stack on Sundays). It would be great to get a paper that actually reported the news rather then a 100 page editorial. The PI and Times can both die and count me as one of the first to urinate on their graves. This is the outcome they have brought on themselves. Long live the Internet.
Have you sent that the Editors at the PI? They must of skipped that class at journalism school.
The founders expect a free people to be responsible, maybe one weakness in them was they expected future leaders to have the same view to posterity and not self aggrandizement that they demonstrated.
Bill Whittle on Responsibility
If your not familiar with Bill, read his essays.
9. 9% is a good start, 89% would be even better, so some of these so-called journalists can be transitioned into employment more in line with their skill sets, such as the many opportunities offered by the Starbucks corporation and its franchises...
10. To the News Buffoon, The Pee Eye and what is left of the Times, I have been pointing out for years the FACT that Sound Transit is operating express bus service that is 100% REDUNDANT to the Tacoma Link Light Rail service. 4,500+ service hours anually. Do these self proclaimed crusaders for the little guy give a rat's a$$ that service hours that could be of use to people who don't have any other way to get around are being wasted....NOPE. 4,500 service hours is worth millions of $$$$$. They don't care, Ladenburg, like Sims before him, is their man and he must be protected.
The Seattle Times headed left a few years ago....
I can't stomach it anymore.....
The PI has been disgustingly liberal for years and years! (My son will buy it at the store occasionally - just to laugh at the headlines! He said they are funnier than the Two Headed baby headlines in the National Enquirer!))
My neighbor quit all local newspapers after the election contest....She was completely disgusted!
She's never looked back.
12. the only aspect of this that is surprising is how long it took people to realize they were PAYING to be fed BS.
the only thing those two papers are good for is starting a fire in the fireplace.but then you don't have to be truthful or accurate to do that....do you?
It's illegal to burn hazardous waste.
14. I cancelled my Seattle Times subscription after I realized the newspaper was not going to report the real fraud taking place in the election for Governor. Haha, ever since I cancelled in May of this year, I have received 5 calls, 4 mailers from the Times, telling me "please come back". Two months ago I told the salesperson for the Times "I'll think about renewing my subscription with the Times, when they actually start reporting the news, and do REAL investigative reporting".
I got a couple calls when I called the P-I.
It stopped when I told the caller to get F*CKED!!!
I got a couple calls when I cancelled the P-I.
It stopped when I told the caller to get F*CKED!!!
They seemed to understand I wasn't interested when I screamed it into the phone. I felt I needed to scream because the poor SOB who called was probably calling from New Dehli or Bombay....that's a looooooong ways away and I was worried he wouldn't hear me!
17. Combined, the Times and PI have lost about 25,000 weekday readers in the past 6 months. Assuming most of them are sticking around for the Sunday edition (at least for a while), they are losing about $1.40 per reader per week, which multiplies out to about $1.8 million per year. How many reporters, editors, and proofreaders (do they still have proofreaders?) can we expect to see hitting the bricks in 2006... about 20? Man that would tick me off if I worked for these publishers!
18. A guy showed up on my front step a week ago Saturday. He offered me a free three months subscription to the News Buffoon. It took me slamming the door in his face to get it accross to him that "no I am not interested," means that I don't want to discuss it further. I don't have a T.V. havn't had one in years, I don't take the local papers haven't in years... I get all the news I need from the Wall Street Journal which I read every morning.
No wonder, as of the Rossi situation, and their continual bashing of Republicans in this state and endorsements of only the most liberal idiots like ron Sims it is no wonder. I no longer purchase their papers either.
Despite Ron Sims Land stealing CAO, election stealing, unsound transit, and taxing to the max, the have the nerve to support him. That newspaper will have a grave stone in Seattle after tommorrows election.
Posted by JDH at 1919 hrs:
"...I get all the news I need from the Wall Street Journal which I read every morning."
And Sound Politics, like a lot of us! Right on!
21. I cancelled my subscription to the Times last year after the election. But, they keep calling offering me a free month. I take the month and then cancel before they bill me. Wash rinse repeat. Question is, does this hurt them more or less than cancelling completely? Do they get advertising $$ for having me as a freebie?
When the circulation reaches a critical low, they will change the politics of those papers more toward moderate, but not until then.
The LA Times gave the boot to leftist wacko Michael Kinsley a few months because of sagging circulation - they are still a lefty rag, but not as far left.
The TNT is probably the best of a mediocre lot of papers. The King County Journal is halfway decent as it offers editorials from both sides and was the only paper that endorsed David Irons over Sims the crook - so it already has more credibility than the two main daily dead fishwrappers.
Now, I admit the P-I has the best funnies, and the funniest notions about 'journalism' among the editorial staff.
But the blogs are eating the lunches of the papers, for good reason. Blogs respond, they're accountable, and they don't greet one's humble submission of an alternate viewpoint with:
"We have received your letter. Thank you for sharing your views. We will be
considering your submission for publication... Everything we publish is subject to editing... and DON'T send yr letter to any other paper".
And then roundfile your carefully thought-out essay.
Not at all. Blogs go where MSM 'journalists' fear to tread, and provide such information as the MSM wishes to banish from public discussions. Blogs link their sources and correct their mistakes.
And where, other than the blogs, can one enter the intellectual lists and joust against such noble sentiments as:
"I admit that I kind of LOVE this last minute SH*T-THROWING politics."
"ramblings of the looney leftists who troll this website"
"Moreso than you incorrectly have assume."
"Bulls**t ! Another troll parading misinformation. No further comment necessary."
Yes, sir, you can talk to blogs just like you can the respected political analysts in the bar down the street.
But in the end, the blogs are eating the papers' lunch because bloggers are really DIVERSE, and one really can find all sides of the story on them - and the range of blogly interests far exceeds the clubby and restricted range of items of the 'professionals' who now weep for shields to hide their scurrilous fake sources.
Clean up your act, newspapers, and go back to reporting news instead of those famous 100-page editorials.
24. I never buy anyone anymore, i used to buy both. The advertisers need to hit up the stranger and the weekly more.
Shark pondered, "Hmm. I wonder why people are cancelling their subscriptions.
Well, to answer that question you might consider pointing out the end of the article:
Average weekday circulation across the nation declined 2.6 percent. Nationwide, Sunday circulation declined 3.1 percent. Of the nation's largest 20 newspapers, 18 lost average weekday circulation during the period. Among the three largest papers, USA Today was down 0.6 percent, The Wall Street Journal was down 1.1 percent, and The New York Times was up 0.5 percent.
The sharpest declines among that group were suffered by the San Francisco Chronicle, down 16.4 percent; the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, down 8.7 percent; and the Boston Globe, down 8.25 percent. The San Francisco Chronicle, like the P-I, is owned by The Hearst Corp. of New York. The only other paper in the group that experienced an increase is the Newark Star-Ledger. It was up 0.01 percent.
Newspaper readership is down all over the country. This is not merely a Seattle Times or Seattle PI phenomenon. People who read newspapers are finding alternative sources for information, or reading the online versions. The rise of the blogophere certainly has a lot to do with that.
But I guess looking at the larger context would have diminished the point you wanted to make.
26. Daniel K moronically points out:
"Average weekday circulation across the nation declined 2.6 percent. Nationwide, Sunday circulation declined 3.1 percent. Of the nation's largest 20 newspapers, 18 lost average weekday circulation during the period. Among the three largest papers, USA Today was down 0.6 percent, The Wall Street Journal was down 1.1 percent, and The New York Times was up 0.5 percent.:
Doesn't minimize the point much dude as
The P-I dropped 9% and the Times 6.7% IN THE HUB OF THE PROGRESSIVE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!
It just goes to show that BS walks!
27. Ooooooops, I referred to Seattle as THE HUB OF THE PROGRESSIVE WORLD.
I meant to call Seattle THE ANAL CANAL OF THE UNIVERSE!
Despite denial k's convenient spin on things (you go ahead and believe that if it makes you feeeeeel good!), the fact remains - newspapers that cater to leftist interests at the expense of objectivity, much less an acknowledgement that there is more than one audience out there do so at their own peril.
Leftists historically have not favored newsprint since the convenience of spoon-fed news ala the idiot box came into vogue. They like it because, not only does it pat them on the head and make them "comfortably numb", it reinforces their delusions.
Any entity that openly insults over half of its potential audience deserves its fate. I relish the demise of crap urnalism!
Mon Nov 07 2005 11:02:35 ET
Average weekday circulation of America's 20 biggest newspapers for the six-month period ended Sept. 30, as reported Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. [The percentage changes are from the comparable year-ago period.]
1. USA Today, 2,296,335, down 0.59 percent
2. The Wall Street Journal, 2,083,660, down 1.10 percent
3. The New York Times, 1,126,190, up 0.46 percent
4. Los Angeles Times, 843,432, down 3.79 percent
5. New York Daily News, 688,584, down 3.70 percent
6. The Washington Post, 678,779, down 4.09 percent
7. New York Post, 662,681, down 1.74 percent
8. Chicago Tribune, 586,122, down 2.47 percent
9. Houston Chronicle, 521,419, down 6.01 percent
10. The Boston Globe, 414,225, down 8.25 percent
11. The Arizona Republic, 411,043, down 0.54 percent
12. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., 400,092, up 0.01 percent
13. San Francisco Chronicle, 391,681, down 16.4 percent
14. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 374,528, down 0.26 percent
15. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 362,426, down 8.73 percent
16. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 357,679, down 3.16 percent
17. Detroit Free Press, 341,248, down 2.18 percent
18. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 339,055, down 4.46 percent
19. The Oregonian, Portland, 333,515, down 1.24 percent
20. The San Diego Union-Tribune, 314,279, down 6.24 percent.
Surely you can't take credit for the nationwide decline in newspaper circulation.
And surely the people who read this blog can't believe that every real problem in the world is related to issues at the King county election's office.
If anyone does believe that they are in for some news. And maybe they ought to pick up a local newspaper.
We'd all be better off.
Mr. Daniel K. is blissfully unaware of the things those papers have in common. It would be wasted typing on my part to point them out to him.
Once again, DK swings at ball 4.
31. Wow thor! Straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! What will your next feat be?
Mr. Cynical moronically quotes me for content that came from the PI.
We know you don't read newspapers Mr Cynical, but I guess that's because you just don't read.
33. I have an idea it will involve pulling something out of a "secreted location" that modesty prevents me from identifying further ;'}
If it is in the newspaper; it's yesterday's news. Typically the papers are unable to or don;t want to report current events, unless of course they pick it up off the AP Wire.
My question is will a conservative newspaper make it in the Northwest?
Like to know.
35. Not suprised, amazed they can still call themselves a "newspaper". Any article pretending to be news is noticably biased and clearly leans liberal democrat. More accurately a front for DNC. More worthy publications have healthier circulation.
Thanks to alphabet soup for finding and posting the numbers.
Kudos to Daniel K and thor for pointing out that samples often resemble populations, and vice versa. That from the statistical demographic journal "Duh!"
A few things....
The mean decrease among the top 20 listed was 3.7 percent, compared with 2.6 percent 'across the nation.' Those listed in the top 20 are crashing even faster than the norm, as are the local rags.
The standard deviation of the sample (20 or 22) is around 4 (percent), while the stdev of the population is unknown. In any case, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle are outliers on this sample list, and likely within the entire population.
Thanks for proving our point, Daniel K. You even provided the exact quotations, bless your heart.
37. I wonder if any of this is somehow related to the fact that Rush Limbaugh's ratings are in the toilet and his listening audience is way down? Perhaps people just don't want to know anymore.
Hey everybody! Half-witz is back! Voted the most consistently wrong poster on SP, I see that you're not in danger of braking your losing streak anytime soon.
One thing is certain - you'll always be a lying, cowardly piece of crap.......
39. Recent Gallup poll for confidence in the media: 28%
The liberal papers are in trouble because they print lies and distortions. They shouldn't call themselves reporters - they are distorters.
If they tried printing the truth, perhaps they wouldn't see such a plummeting readership. But lackey's like Daniel K will always try to explain away the real reasons while continuing on pushing the lies and distortion carrying water for the liberal agenda.
Yeah, a lot of the libs are still hypnotized by the idiot box. But that will change too. A la carte on-demand services are emerging so that one will only have to purchase what one wants instead of 150 channels of mostly crap. The pocketbooks of the liberals will guide them away from the spoon feeding they get.
It's fun to watch the MSM writhe with the loss of the death grip they have had on the minds of most Americans.
I guess you didn't get the talking points update yet. You must still be reading the Times and the P-I.
Scroll down for a picture in honor of Unkl Witz and the other Horses Ass readers.
43. Jeff B.--
HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!
Franken looks like he was made to blend in with a horses ass! In fact, it's damn near impossible to tell the difference!
44. Wow, Jeff B, be sure and post that one on the Horse Bee-hind blog.
I find this to be a VERY scary trend. We tend to blame newspapers a lot for crappy reporting. And we often end up crying bias even when it isn't necessary. But, the fact is, reporters are over worked and underpaid for their profession.
It's really sad to see newspapers on the decline. To me, it is a sign of a public who couldn't care less about local news and politics. It is a scary trend.
Ultimately, with less circulation, newspaper reporting gets worse as staffs are forced to be cut. I hope people start to realize the value of newspapers and quit bickering over minor points of bias (which is substantiated in some instances, but not many).
Don't fret. The pain will only last a little while, and something new and better will emerge from the ashes of your beloved MSM. There might even be room for some of your underpaid and overworked reporters if they can unlearn the methods they have acquired in the current system.
The amazing thing is I'm sure the people at the Times don't have any idea why this is happening. I know two journalists in this area and both are so liberal they don't have any cule about another side to issues. They really think Bush is almost as bad as Hitler...I'm not kidding.
The good thing is, most of the people my age (mid 20s to early 30s) don't think this way. In fact, in polls the x gen and y gen are more conservative then the Baby Boom generation. I guess a good number of us have learned our lessens. The bad thing is the few I know went into journalism and law.
Cynical, thought you might like that.
Misty, you or Cynical can do the honors of posting this at the HorsesAss.org. I use to comment there, but it's such a joke, and Goldy is so given to hysterics, and his garbage is so over the top, that I just don't go there ever.
This article about Murray is a great example of why the local papers are losing circulation.
Minor bias? The whole MSM ship is listing so badly to port that it is no wonder that it is sinking. I agree, more voices are better, but it's not newspapers that are the problem, nor the solution.
The issue is that there is a whole 2 to 3 generations of journalism students reared on collectivism, progressivism, marxism, multiculturalism, and a culture so thick with political correct stifling of speech that it limits their ability to report even the obvious. It's completely indemic to their entire world view.
The smart papers will eventually cater their message towards objectivity, and if they do, they will get a reputation as being readable and their circulation will buck the declining trend. This we have yet to see, but there's a bright mind out there somewhere that will see this market opportunity and fix an existing moderate news outfit, or build a new, better more objective news source from the ground up.
The dumb papers will just keep playing their music while the ship sinks.
Yes, there are newspapers out there, such as the P-I, that list far to the left. But there are also papers like the Times, that I would argue are fairly center. They tend to endorse good Republicans like Dino Rossi and they have good staff like David Postman who covers issues very objectively. Yet the Times is losing readers left and right.
I would also point out that papers like the Wall Street Journal, which has a more conservative slant as you would hope for. But this paper is also losing readers like no other. So, to me, it doesn't seem to have much to do with political slant, but just that people don't give a S#$t about news.
It's fine to disagree with a paper like the Times, but I have a lot of respect for the Times. They have quality news coverage, worthwhile analysis, good endorsements (save for Sims) and good reader interaction. From all the people I know at the Times, I would agree that most are liberal... but all cherish objectivity and dedication to the profession over editorializing on the news page.
torridjoe writes at the open blog:
Clownstein? How the less-than-mighty have fallen. Coming on someone else’s site to call them names–especially when people can’t even call your judgement to account on your own site, without being banned. I suppose that’s why SoundPolitics has lost 63% of its audience since January–they recognize that the site is no longer (and really never was) the least bit credible. And you have the nerve to mock the newspapers for losing 6-10% of their subscription rates. Your site is FREE, and you’re hemmorhaging readers!
Comment by torridjoe— 11/7/05 @ 9:37 pm
SS, (funny coincidence about the initials isn't it) the 'great condescender'
I'm at the tail end of Gen X, and very conservative as are the majority of my college educated friends. When I got my graduate degree, 90% of the students who went through the program were Baby Boomers, and more liberal than I was. However, I went back to my undergraduate fraternity chapter to do some training for the new associate members, 18 and 19 year old young men, and was amazed that when the subject of the levies and New Orleans came up the group of nine, to a man, thought it was BS to hold the president responsible, and thought that the local officials were to blame. That response on a college campus where I expected raging liberalism floored me.
So you're right, our generation and the next are more conservative, and we will continue to move farther to the right as we start to shoulder the financial burden the Baby Boomers are placing on us in the form of state and federal spending.
Every time I think of the prescription drug benefit, I just remind myself that boomers are selfish and have bankrupted the country, but on the positive side, they're getting old and will die soon.
54. Gee, I
You have blinders on. The excuse the editors gave me for their leftward slant is that they are no longer a "newspaper of record". YES! The EDITORS themselves told me this!
We call that bias.
Yes, the WSJ is down - slightly. But by far the biggest decline is in the liberal papers. Now I suppose that you could argue that since most of the papers are liberal, it stands to reason they would be the ones to decline the most. But even here in the heart of "progesssive" (Ashamed to call themselves liberals) Seattle, even the leftist rags are declining.
Please go back to the filth fest of the equine anal blog. The feces eminating from your mouth is more appropriate there. The adults are having a conversation. Now run along sonny.
After spending a few years in the newspaper circulation business, I think the current circulation problems at newspapers have very little to do with sudden drops in customers. It has more to do with newspapers restructuring their subscriber roles before they get caught up in the audit scandals that have plagued other newspapers. The real problem with newspaper circulation started 10-15 years ago. And that problem is local TV news.
Newspaper circulation generically have been dropping fairly consistantly for years. And as good as the internet is for dissemenating information, TV is the culprit. How many of us, locally, spent our mornings watching JP Patches - WundaWunda - Stan Boreson? What is on TV now in the mornings - local news. the same local news that is the staple of the "morning" newspaper. when TV station managers started adding more and more local news coverage, they needed to search more and more for local news. they started going into the smaller communities around the sound, doing the job the local newspaper used to do so well. and the consumer liked it, why go to the porch or the mailbox to grab the paper when you can just click the TV on. you don't have to read the stories, just listen and catch the gist of it. If its interesting buy a paper later or grab the one at the office. this explains why newspaper circulation has gone up in single copy numbers and down in home delivery.
these problems forced newspapers to resort to gimmicks, giveaways, discounts, and unfortunately even fraud to keep their numbers up, keeping their advertisers happy. with the audit bureaus "uncovering" recent problems at other newspapers, many others have slowly taken these problem customers off the books and brought their circulation numbers down to where they can easily and fully defend a circulation audit.
This drop in circulation, and the competition in local news, has forced newspapers to make changes. unfortunately, many have decided they need to be more activist and sensational to garner readers. hence the shift to more radical, liberal reporters/editors. Add to that the mostly liberal nature of current jounalism teaching and you get the problem we now have in print journalism.
in other words, large dailys circ numbers are going down, smaller weekly/bi-weekly newspapers are holding steady (they often provide just the extra local news that a TV viewer needs), the internet is no easier to "read" than a newsaper (it just has more content easily available and broken down into catagories the reader can use quickly) so it has less to do with the newspaper decline than you would think. but, the industry is more than happy to blame "right wing internet blogging" for the problem, instead of TV (where every print reporter wants to end up anyway) or the coverup of circulation audit issues.
thanks for letting me ramble.
Kent - your timeline sounds about right. When I emailed one of the editors of the Times about their slant, they replied that the Times hasn't been a "newspaper of record" for over 15 years. I was concerned because future historical reserchers looking at the public reponse to 911 via the Time's letters to the editor selection will get the impression that America felt it deserved to have 3,000 of its citizens murdered and was quite happy it happened.
I guess being a newpaper of record to them means just reporting the facts as they happen and they couldn't have that.
This is a major factor for their decline in my opinion.
Get real. Newspaper circulation is down everywhere..including the Wall St. Journal and The Washington Times.
It's craigslist, ebay, etc. overtaking their market...along with blogs like this.
All the things Kent and others list contribute to the decline of newspapers. And, newspapers do it to themselves by coming across as extremely biased and silly in their reporting.
It's hopeless to think that they will reform themselves and create something people want to read. The industry overall seems to be convinced that it needs to appeal more to women in order to succeed. That is silly because there are plenty of magazines and other media that will always be much better at appealing to women.
But, since appealing to women seems to be the best idea these bozos can come up with, I would not suggest investing in the stock of any of these companies. 20 years ago, even 10 years ago, everybody thought AT&T was invincible - look at where they are are now. It was bought for pennies on the dollar. The same thing will happen with newspapers - Sound Politics might buy the Seattle Times in ten years, just to get a few of their facilities and then shut down the rest.
There is and will always be a strong demand for reliable information.
These rags are losing circulation because they're not meeting that demand. It's that simple.
Dan makes a great point. I am a baby boomer who is thoroughly ashamed of the dim witted self absorbed liberalism many of my contemporaries exhibit. They happily buy into the type of false liberal drivel Rich Kiker (Unkl Witz), Daniel K, doc and other ding dongs like them where facts are utterly unimportant and the past and future non-existent. They are never able to defend their point of view because it is based entirely on prejudice.
The younger generation is employing more critical thinking skills and using an independent thinking and reasoning common sense that liberals are incapable of. Among other things, there are thousands of veterans of the Iraq and Afghani wars that are coming home and telling the truth about what happened there. They are repudiating liberal professor's bull$hit and proving that GW Bush was and is right. They are also very pi$$ed off at the lies and deceit of liberal pricks like Rich Kiker and his idiot Moveon.org communist agitator’s ilk who mindlessly spew their lies in order to break America’s commitment to liberty.
The future has potential because truth will not always easily give in to the rank stupidity of the left.
We are real and the main reason why newspapers are losing circulation is because they continue to fail to provide the service that people want. You have a point but don’t miss the most important one. This is not about an honest difference of opinions(left or right), but an express and dishonest attempt by the editorial staff's at major newspapers and other MSM outlets to influence outcomes with lies and deceit, and it is all perpetrated by the left.
Over half of our population is conservative and they want the truth rather than the patent liberal world view as told by the extreme left. The Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor will still be around when the Washington Post, the LA Times, and the Seattle Times are long gone because they actually provide news unvarnished with liberal propaganda.
The most reliable print source of hard news in America is the Wall Street Journal WSJ and its editorial staff is decidedly conservative. There is a reason for this, and it is why the WSJ is widely read by liberal elites even though they detest the truth telling overtones of its editorial content put forth every day.
Every weekday morning on the first floor of high rises throughout Seattle you will see stacks of them waiting for their subscribers to pick them up for the daily news. Liberal attorneys, liberal politicians, and liberal business people like their conservative counterparts all read it assiduously because it is the prime source of information about economic trends in America and abroad. The WSJ refuses to engage in nonsense like other papers because it's subscribers on the left and the right both expect reliable information about their business, their investments, their livelihood, and their future prosperity.
It is amusing just to imagine any liberal elite consulting a rag like the PI or Seattle Times for important information like this.
The WSJ will be around for a long time after other so-called NEWSpapers are long gone.