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

Not quite the apocalypse after all

In my latest for the Guardian, I write that the Great Newspaper Meltdown of 2009, though certainly bad enough, didn’t quite live up to its advance billing.

Why? Corporate debt made newspapers look sicker than they really were; there is (alas) still room for further newsroom cuts; and publishers are finally getting smart about innovative ways to extract money from readers and advertisers.


Reflections on the state of media criticism


Live-blogging the Mass. Senate debate


  1. Newshound

    Good point. This isn’t the end of newspapers anymore than it is the end of carpenters either because of the real estate financial collapse or modular-factory built houses.

    Predicting the future often proves out wrong. And, this is not the end of commercially gathered and dispersed news, nor is it the end of newsprint – – – not yet anyway.

    The concept of extraordinary superior earnings from which to harvest cash to retire mountains of acquisition debt is diminished from the past. Some of this can be attributed to publishers increasing newspaper prices everyone will not pay, and the same with classified and general advertising, thus many if not all of us have found economically efficient alternatives – – – alternatives we’re all familiar with such as Craig’s list, circulars direct mailed or inserted into newspapers, Internet, etc.

  2. Hi Dan,
    I think you’re forgetting a few crucial points:

    – What about plummeting home delivery/subscription numbers? By all accounts those numbers are down by double digits year-over-year

    – What about the huge shift in advertising dollars away from print to the internet?

    The fact that there’s more bodies to cut isn’t a good thing – it ultimately will mean cutting “content” – which will lead to fewer readers (both on and off line).

    The year was an unmitigated disaster for newspapers. I don’t think anyone was predicting that newspapers would vanish in 2009 – but they certainly moved rapidly in that direction.

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