Poor journalists…

Bold mine-

There are a few reasons for the job losses. Local newspapers have seen much of their advertising revenue vanish as readers move online. They’ve also struggled to attract many digital subscribers after past rounds of layoffs and buyouts eroded their quality. Digital media startups, funded by venture capitalists seeking growth, aggressively hired journalists then scaled back to focus on profitability. Almost everyone is struggling to compete with Facebook and Google, which accounted for three-fourths of U.S. online ads sales last year.

To say nothing of the slanted coverage… sigh…

Full article, HERE.

The sad twist about these layoffs and restructuring is that they come just as the public is hungry for information about the pandemic, but there are now fewer journalists to provide vital information about it. Traffic is up for many sites and TV ratings have increased as people are stuck at home watching the news.

Full article, HERE.

And an interesting article HERE. A potential direction for ‘news’ and I use that term loosely… A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with an editor from a small east Texas newspaper. They are not daily, and they have NO, zero, none, zilch national news. Everything they do is local. Sports, marriages, items of interest, which is what newspapers used to be. Sure, they had the occasional AP or wire piece, but the biggest majority of reporting was local.

The other problem is ad revenue is in the toilet. Advertisers are looking at the ROI on newspaper ads and going nope, local cable buys me more views per dollar spent…

And quite honestly, to me at least, most of the reporting I read other than the local stuff is suspect at best, if not badly slanted at worst. I do follow the local sports teams, because they are the backbone of our communities and it IS Texas… Football and all… LOL

I’m interested to see what your perspective is.


Awww… — 23 Comments

  1. I moved from a town of 3,500 to a city of 47,000. The small town’s weekly paper was better written and had more news (all of it local or regional) than an entire week’s worth of amalgamated, hydrogenated, polyunsaturated so-called “news” in the city’s daily.

  2. It has been many years since I have seen a news organization actually report the news, wether it be print, tv, or online. They give us their opinions and try to tell us how to think. The online talking heads mostly have their heads up their collective a**es. I want factual reporting without embellishment or bias. I want straight information so that I can make my own informed decisions.

  3. I’m sure there are still true journalists out there, but they seem to be few and far between. The large majority of both print and TV outlets produce slanted opinion pieces disguised as news. I like the way Glenn Reynolds at the good Instapundit blog puts it (if he didn’t say it first, it’s where I first read it): “when you think or most journalists as Democratic operatives with bylines, it all makes sense.”
    Historically, media outlets have used their platforms for advocacy, but it seems much worse in the MSM now ..

  4. When I cancelled my long time newspaper subscription, I noted that I was not interested in paying for being insulted and lied to. They haven’t gotten better since then.

  5. Most newspapers are good as fire kindling, or to line the bottom of a bird cage. The leftists have made their own bed. Maybe they can get a useful job where they provide value-added to society?

  6. I blame the journalism schools. They indoctrinate a portion of the student body not known for its academic rigor. These students then go to their first jobs intending to “speak truth to power” and wind up regurgitating the same tired victimology they’ve been taught. Local paper consumers won’t put up with that nonsense and stop subscribing.

  7. The local newspaper here in So.KY spends the most of its print on state and local stories which is good. Editorial comment is conservative which reflect most of the folks here with the exception of the college crowd.

    Unfortunately most of the US and state capitol stories come from AP which is decidedly tilted to the left.

    The paper canceled it’s Saturday issue starting in April for the very reason you wrote about. Advertisements are extremely limited.

  8. The current state of reported news media is not necessarily the fault of the journalist. The Editor and the owners of the news platform (dead tree paper, online news, TV – whatever) are keenly aware of what their mercurial consumers want to read, and they direct their journalists accordingly. At the same time an editor will reword or delete entire sections of an article entirely due to the preferences of the consumer.

    People who want to read unadulterated news are part of a steadily shrinking minority. People in this group can read an article and comprehend the content faster and better than listening to a news anchor with speed talking skills. Visuals are nice but are a long way from necessary in most articles.

    Keeping up on current events is hard. It requires time and effort, and it’s made much more difficult by the giggling, hooting, and howling of the ubiquitous bubble-headed bleach blonde, who, along with two other feminazis and a token eunuch who has been taught to sit quietly in the background until it’s his turn to read aloud whatever is written on the reader-board, deliver screeds that pass for news.

    With the advent of the Internet and uncensored news sites, we can still get the news. It just takes a bit longer to find the newsstand.

    • This was a comment posted on my blog last week:
      My son has a degree in journalism. I tried to talk him out of it, but he’s a terrific writer and besides that, he knows better than I do. In my argument, I offered the fact that in the US, there are more than 400 schools that offer degrees in journalism, and if there were 100 students graduating with journalism degrees every year, that would mean that he would compete with 40,000 other people nationwide for a position in his field of study. And, I said, this probably explains why entry-level positions in journalism are so low and why it is near impossible to find work in that field. Obviously, as I said, it was a very poor argument on my part. In any case, he has a degree in journalism and now works for a major pharmacy chain.

      So, you have lots of people with journalism degrees who realize early on that if they want to keep working in that field, they pretty much have to do what their editors tell them; they have to write articles with a peculiar slant. They either give the editor what he or she wants, or they start looking for work elsewhere. What this means to me is that there is NO integrity in the field. It’s more about exchanging income for personal and professional integrity. Just so that we understand, my son was told that (1) no good reporter will wear a US flag pin on his or her lapel, and (2) a good reporter will always represent the interests of the people, which is the mantra of the Democratic Party.

      • A journalist’s customers are NOT the subscribers. Their customers are the companies buying ads. Never forget your eyes and attention are the product they are selling someone else.

  9. With the local news, it is pretty unbiases…as long as it involves sport teams and local events, but if it involves politics, the bias creeps in and they have been called out in it more than once. I have called them “Monkeys on keyboards” more than once, don’t have an original thought amongst themselves….good thing is I betcha they can learn code……

  10. Disclaimer. I don’t own a television set and rarely see network news, let alone local coverage.

    After spending a few decades in the car biz, I’m familiar with spending big bucks with local newspapers for advertising. Too many editors acted like they were doing me a favor by accepting our business. I found direct mail gave me the most bang for the buck. For less money, we could put an ad in every mailing address in the target market. Did many people hate the ‘junk’ mail? Did we care?

    Many newspapers are owned by a few companies. The bulk of their content, other than local coverage, comes to them to be reprinted.

  11. When I was working on my dissertation, I read a lot of newspapers from the 1930s-1960s and later. Ye gads, the coverage was so much better before journalism schools took everything over. Lots of international coverage, lots of local news. Yes, there was bias, but in most cases it was obvious. If you wanted the other side, you got the other local or regional paper.

    And the funnies were a LOT better, but that’s my opinion only.

  12. My thought on seeing a relevant headline was that journalists are not risking their health to provide information that will save lives. They are providing disinformation that will cost lives.

    They, by and large, are not numerate enough for information.

    As for the financial distress of the media, the level of foreign investment has been of interest for some time.

    Journalists by and large have the modern equivalent of Vidkun’s sympathies, control and funding disbursed through the media organizations, not particularly good character, and personal confidence that is not supported by their level of mental activity.

  13. All- Thanks for the great comments. The ONLY reason I take the local rag is local sports and the comics… But I do miss Pogo, Snuffie, and the other great ones. Oddly, the local rag DOES have Snoopy every day except Sunday.

    Posted from my iPhone.

  14. I closed my newspaper last September.
    It was the only conservative paper in the county.
    Mostly local human interest, public announcements, parades, church events, and some editorial by me or others.
    If someone overheard that I owned the paper, invariably I was told how much they loved it.
    I was barely breaking even.
    When I approached someone to advertise, they would say they were going internet.
    I don’t know how they became convinced that the internet (Google) was a better value than being associated with the good will generated by the paper.
    When I informed my advertisers I was closing, they were sad to see it go as it generated business for them.
    All paid their invoices, even knowing they could probably avoid it.
    But I did it as a work of love for the community.
    Until I couldn’t afford to.

  15. I haven’t bought a major newspaper in years. But I will go through one I find lying around and get the crossword out of it. Even when I stay in a hotel/motel and they provide free papers, again I get it and pull out the crossword and chunk the rest. With football the king around there, do you ever go the high school games? I hear they are better than the pro’s.

  16. Local county newspaper covers local and regional and is worth every penny to know what is going on in the area. For national news, I prefer starting with British papers, reading/listening to Hugh Hewitt, Techno_Fog, Undercover_Huber, and Kurt Schlichter (I like his attitude) and multiple other internet news aggregators. For Middle Eastern News, MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute, for Asian news, the english edition of Radio Free Asia. I no longer read the NYT, no longer watch CNN, and generally regard MSNBC with disdain (a few exceptions). Back to the county newspaper…they have both dead tree and online versions; I will continue to subscribe and support it as they do outstanding work. One of my favorite issues the primary headline was “First-grader saves hens from snake”. Secondary headline was “Traffic stop leads to murderer’s arrest”. The editor has their priorities straight! 🙂

  17. I used to take the state-wide paper, daily and Sundays, and my local rag. I dropped the state dailies, and then the Sunday paper, and eventually the local rag.

  18. I still read two small local papers from the back of beyond because they stick with local news, sports and when the next rop’n is. And the letters to the Editor are a hoot when some naredowell Dem gets their come to Jesus from the local good guys.

  19. I once overheard the comment that no advertiser should pay money for advertising in a publication that could not cover their costs with subscriptions.

    The gentleman’s reasoning was that readers don’t read publications they don’t value. If the publication has to bribe readers to accept it by selling below cost of production then how can an advertiser have any confidence that the “readers” even crack it open.

  20. Ed- Sorry to hear that…

    All- Thanks for the insightful comments.

    Posted from my iPhone.

  21. The local rag here in Phoenix is The Arizona Republic.
    It leans so far to the left it makes me dizzy.
    Our subscription gets us the Wednesday edition, with grocery ads, and the Sunday edition, with ads for department stores, sporting goods stores, and various coupons. We don’t care for the provided “news” content much, but like the ads.
    I’m pretty sure that in a pinch, if you wadded the paper up into a tight little ball and then unfolded it, it would provide a good substitute for TP.
    We don’t own a bird/birdcage.