Here is the second in my reports about the Vocus “State of the Media 2010” webinar (http://tinyurl.com/ybglakz) and accompanying white paper (http://www.vocus.com/state-of-the-media/index.asp).
Here are some highlights of their report about newspapers. I have already reported on magazines and will report on broadcast media in subsequent blog posts.
In 2009, 293 newspapers folded, nearly 100 of them in the first quarter alone. 14 were dailies, 230 were weeklies.
There were 421 layoffs in newsrooms of major newspapers.
At the same time, 45 new papers were launched, many of which are online or Web-first.
The majority of the new papers (29 of the total) are weeklies.
Being online only is definitely a trend. For example, the Christian Science Monitor is online except for one print edition a week.
Content sharing is growing. For example, the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram share some content.
The result, obviously, is less competition in content between the newspapers. However, the newspapers are competing with bloggers and online news sites.
Unfortunately, the quality of journalism is suffering. “Once, three or four sources were required for a newspaper to go with a story. Now just one source is enough for a blogger to put it on the Web site and spur a heated debate.”
People have not reacted well to the notion of paying for content online. The exceptions are mainly niche publications, like The Wall Street Journal, which can be essential to people in that niche.
The good news is that there is a rise of nonprofit, investigative journalism, such as Propublica, Chicago News Co-op and the Bay Area News Project.
More articles on the media are available at http://CommunicationsPlus.net/PRarticles.html.