How The Mighty Are Falling

by Jim Pasinski on March 12, 2009

By Jim Pasinski

As everyone knows by now, the centuries-long dominant force in media is struggling mightily.

So many major metropolitan newspapers (and smaller papers) are bleeding subscribers, ad revenue across many areas is drying up, and production costs continue to rise.

2009 is looking to be a dark year for some of the nation’s papers, with the Rocky Mountain News already gone, the Post-Intelligencer in Seattle ready to close or go strictly digital, the Detroit News cutting delivery days, and dozens of others trying to function with low cash flow and/or heavy debt.

Why? Obviously one can point to the Web is the main reason for the loss of subscribers and the economy along with increased options for the loss of ad revenue. For some papers, their demise will end up resulting from any number of factors. Many had a lack of foresight on how to best leverage the Internet and were forced to play catch up.

So which papers might meet their end in 2009? Time magazine has some thoughts.

Locally, The Buffalo News is certainly dealing with their own struggles with some layoffs looming.

The slow demise of many newspapers does sadden those of us here at CMC. A few of us were seasoned by working at newspapers before jumping to the other side of the pond and tackling the world of PR. We spent many a night jotting notes at a city council or school board meeting, covering a local charity event, or heading over to the police station to check out the daily crime log.

For me, working at a small town newspaper was a struggle (both financially and in terms of low staff levels) several years back, but most news reporters do the work because they love the work. I cannot imagine how difficult things must be today.

I still can’t picture a day when people will only turn to the Web/phone/TV/radio for their news. Maybe I am being naive – holding out some hope for the industry and the friends and colleagues who make their living in it.