By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The forgotten readers

While I was at Christopher Lydon’s session at UMass, my sometime editor Tom Stites was down the hall, delivering this speech. Tom sent me the Word file, and I was going to ask him whether I could post it — but then Dan Gillmor beat me to it. (And Adam and John beat me in linking to it.)

Stites’ speech is about a topic that’s important not just for journalism, but for democracy: the newspaper industry’s advertiser-driven abandonment of all but the most affluent readers. Tom’s attitude toward his former newspaper colleagues is more sorrow than anger — after all, he observes, how can it be otherwise when Wal-Mart, where poor people actually shop, doesn’t buy newspaper ads, whereas businesses that cater to upscale readers do?

This is a long piece, and I can’t adequately summarize it. So do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

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  1. Sachem Head

    A very worthwhile read, the Stiles speach. Thanks for linking to it.

  2. Anonymous

    Sachem said it first. It was a great speech.I just wonder if it will be listened to.

  3. Anonymous

    But Wal-Mart does advertise, albeit on television. And, ironically enough, when it does, it is usually on the local evening news broadcast.

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