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This news media blog explores the nexus between the press, the public and technology with two missions. One, to engage citizens in an online conversation about the role of the news media in their lives, in the hope that they will use and critique the media more effectively. And secondly to explore how the press can remain relevant, essential and accountable to citizens and communities.

Mike Fancher is Editor at Large of The Seattle Times.

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April 11, 2008 3:50 PM

Enough is enough, says longtime observer of newspapers

Posted by Mike Fancher

John Morton, one of the newspaper industry's senior analysts, says newspapers that are cutting costs to maintain high profits are wrongheaded and threaten their own futures.

Morton's comments come in an article entitled, "Enough is enough," in the American Journalism Review.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Journalism trends , Media ownership , News industry developments , The future of journalism |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

April 10, 2008 8:35 AM

Debating local versus corporate ownership of newspapers

Posted by Mike Fancher

Press Here for a discussion about newspaper ownership that includes Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen and Phil Bronstein, a veteran editor for the Hearst Corp.

Comments | Category: Journalism trends , Media consolidation , Media ownership , Media reform , News industry developments , The future of journalism |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 6, 2008 3:10 PM

The future of newspapers -- will they ever be the same?

Posted by Mike Fancher

Press Here to read a heartfelt expression about the future of newspapers in American. It is written by Peggy Drexler, an assistant professor of psychology at Cornell University, who writes:

I have been watching newspapers like you watch a cherished friend who has a slow debilitating illness. You wonder: Even if they survive, will they ever be the same?

The signs are not encouraging.

It's not that the media companies are speeding toward the edge of a cliff. On any given day, 51 million people buy a paper, and 124 million read one. Just for perspective, the Giants and Patriots set a Super Bowl record with an audience of 97.5 million. Profit margins are still in the high teens, and newspapers are touting their success in moving readers online.

This is not an industry that is going to go the way of carbon paper and rotary phones. It's worse than that. It's an industry with a wasting disease that will rob us of essential benefits that we have forgotten how to appreciate...

...I realized there is nobody to blame because it is nobody's fault. You don't blame cell phones when you can't find a phone booth. It's simply the onslaught of technology and the inevitability of consumer choice.

We've seen it before. But this time there is more at stake.

I worry about the quality of debate. I worry about the truth. I worry about a community's ability to examine itself. I worry about the abuse of power when nobody is watching. I worry about losing the sheer enjoyment of great writing and reporting.

But most of all, I just feel sad.

I suspect many of us share that worry and sadness, even as we work to keep this cherished friend on life support, hoping for a full recovery.

As for the observation that there isn't anyone to blame, the combination of high profits and aggressive disinvestment in content would seem to be one place to point an accusatory finger.

Comments | Category: Journalism trends , Media ownership , News industry developments , The future of journalism |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 16, 2008 1:30 PM

What's ahead for the world's greatest news service?

Posted by Mike Fancher

The traditional business models that bring you the day's news are in flux, including the relationship between the Associated Press and the news organizations that own it.

AP, which began in 1846, is a cooperative owned by some 1,500 U.S. newspapers and run by a board of directors that is elected by its members. But there has been a growing tension in recent years as AP has created new opportunities and revenue sources, some of which involve selling content to emerging businesses that compete with traditional media.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Journalism trends , Media ownership , News industry developments , The future of journalism |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Recent entries

Apr 11, 08 - 03:50 PM
Enough is enough, says longtime observer of newspapers

Apr 10, 08 - 08:35 AM
Debating local versus corporate ownership of newspapers

Mar 6, 08 - 03:10 PM
The future of newspapers -- will they ever be the same?

Feb 16, 08 - 01:30 PM
What's ahead for the world's greatest news service?

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