02.06.2016 06:59 PM

This disappearing newspaper stuff 

It’s affecting me more than I thought it would. I predicted it, I wrote about it, I analyzed it. But it has hit me – that this big, bad thing is happening, and no one seems to give a damn.

(Oh, and if you want to post a comment about how Facebook is going to fill the void, and break the next Watergate, don’t bother. Go back to watching your panda bear videos and leave me to my misery.)




  1. Heidi says:

    It’s not just those that have disappeared. It’s also the decline in quality especially in local / provincial vents.

  2. e.a.f. says:

    Face book is going to “fill a void”????? who ever thinks that must have a few cards missing. Facebook doesn’t even fill the void they have created.

    The newspaper business will survive in some form. I just don’t know how or what form it will take.

    Investigate reporting needs dedication, talent and money. Without it and newspapers our democracy will be less than it can be.

  3. Bob Parkins says:

    Amen brother. Right again.

  4. Steve T says:

    The weird thing is that print newspapers are so cheap. We pay $30/month each, for the two papers here in Winnipeg. Don’t always read both of them everyday, but when you want to “unplug”, it’s nice to have them there.

    • BillBC says:

      I can’t let this pass without comment. $30 a month each for two papers is $720 a year of after-tax income, not an insignificant amount for those below middle class income levels. This gives you, among other things, enormous amounts of advertising and bales of paper to recycle (one hopes). I’m not interested in want ads, sports news, or local news from cities I don’t live in. I’d happily pay for on-line content from, say, the Globe and Mail, so I could just read the national news and political content. But so far it’s priced above what I’m prepared to pay.

  5. Marc-André Chiasson says:

    As was stated in the 1981 report of the Kent Royal Commission on concentration of ownership in journalism: ” In a country that has allowed so many newspapers to be owned by a few conglomerates, freedom of the press means, in itself, only that enormous influence without responsibility is conferred on a handful of people. For the heads of such organizations to justify their position by appealing to the principle of freedom of the press is offensive to intellectual honesty”. (1981: 217)

    In 2016…some 35 years later…not much has changed, sadly. Here in New Brunswick, the descendants of mega-rich industrialist K.C.Irving continue to own and control every English-language daily, and now they own and control the vast majority of the English-language weeklies. Not satisfied with that mediatic monopoly, they have moved into the French-language newspaper business with their well funded, province-wide weekly l’Étoile, which is competing against a few small privately owned weeklies and the independent daily, l’Acadie Nouvelle. If you’re not bilingual, you’re shit out of luck in finding a counterpoint in this province to the perspective offered by the Irving web of newspapers.

  6. Codiacbear says:

    It is totally absurd that most of our local newspaper media is so controlled to the point that online editions are not accessible without a paid subscription such as the Times & Transcript here in Moncton and others elsewhere. Media has changed and adaptation is a prerequisite and a necessity. Today in our internet world the way to achieve that is via ad and promotional revenue not subscriptions which are quite passé. The market is huge and any business that attempts subscription revenue is doomed to fail. That being said once you fully open your business door to the vast social networks that are available also be prepared and ready for open criticism as well as opinions that could very well change your approach and understanding of what it really means to truthfully communicate and report in our world today.

  7. HarryR says:

    Objective journalism is dead but it didn’t just die, it committed suicide. One can read point and counterpoint and therein, somewhere, lay the facts. Thus confirmation bias clouds our judgement and spin doctors masquerade as journalists.

  8. Aongasha says:

    Au contraire. I don’t think social media is going to fill the void. However, I feel that rather than pay for the biased crap that comes out of the National Press Gallery and the Lame Stream Media hq’d at the ‘center of the universe’ in Toronto, if I want that kind of shite, I can get it online for free.
    Very easy decision for a guy that used to subscribe to all the major media outlets of all types and pay handsomely for them. As we see more supposedly fair and balanced journalists, running off to join cabinet ministers staff, or to front so-called ‘progressive think tanks, it only reinforces that decision and confirms my opinon that a biased media deserves its fate. Too bad for the good people side-swiped by this, but they should look to their colleagues as responsible. If you want to PO a third or more of your potential audience on a regular basis and don’t care, then you deserve your fate. One things for sure, unlike the CBC, most of them will not get $145 million more this year from the Liberals as a thank you. Maybe they should get a bus to chauffeur Trudeau, or perform as MC at a hotshot Liberal wedding. Obviously the CEEB’s competition (witness CTV’s Oliver election night) tries, but they do it best. On my tax dollars of course, since I just haven’t figured out a way to avoid pay for these leeches as yet.

  9. Freelance journos connected via social media could fill the void but the days of the newspaper are pretty much over, I think. And TV news is on the way out as well as the network model will be a thing of the past in the next decade or so.

    People will return to wanting news, regular news, well-reported news when the circumstances of their lives require news. Could be economic cataclysm, war, something very big which shakes a culture to its core. Maybe, possibly. (Then again, I still believe as I have said on this blog before that every great civilization in human history reaches its high point and then crumbles into dust from internal rot. I believe that is beginning to happen to the west.)

  10. Jean A Paterson says:

    As a puzzling fact to add to this discussion, the used book sale at one of Winnipeg’s shopping malls has posted a $20,000 increase to its previous largest total intake. That suggests to me that lots of people 1) like a fair price and 2) like to get their hands on printed matter to read it. Therefore if newspapers increased the quality of their reports, and maybe alternated with sports every second day and national events twice a week, so that we could choose our coverage and subscribe accordingly, they would sell well.
    Innovation does not always mean changing medium to electronic only. It means adapting to the needs of the market, both the intellectual need and the “I like it for the action photos” markets.

  11. Jack Gaum says:

    You still can’t beat the feel of having a coffee and reading a newspaper in the morning.

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