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

Foreign policy

In my latest for the Guardian, I take a look at “The Changing Newsroom,” a new study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism, and conclude that the authors get it half-right: metropolitan newspapers aren’t dumping foreign and national news because readers don’t want it, but because they’re getting it elsewhere.

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1 Comment

  1. MeTheSheeple

    You’ve got a modifier problem — “they” referring both to newspaperfolk and readers, the way this is written.I think your core argument neglects the decline in newshole, which is happening everywhere. Is a newspaper with local circulation going to cut some wire stories or some local stories? That seems like an easy answer, even in a time when the United States is involved in two wars.There’s a quote from the report here:“There is in place a cost structure that worked for many years but is a straitjacket now. Paper and production costs account for nearly 25% of total expense. Circulation sales and billing together with fleets of trucks and delivery employees throwing papers on the front lawn account for 10% more.But unless papers are ready to eliminate their print edition, there is a limit to how much these costs can be reduced. You can shrink the physical size of the paper. You can outsource printing. You can reduce the ratio of news to ads, though that clearly weakens the product. But you still have the cost of printing and delivery.”Newspapers’ business model is broken. I think the authors of the study nailed it when they said newspapers have to find a way to get to the future without losing themselves in the meantime.Aren’t many newspapers changing the ratio of ads to news hole? Isn’t the “thump value” of papers dropping? What else could give?

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