They’re still not humble.
I’m hearing professional journalists and academics in journalism blame all sorts of things for this situation:
1. Falling ad revenues (you know, that’s a failure of the business model that the traditional media organizations have held onto like a liferaft with a hole in it). The Washington Times reports advertising revenue has fallen 40% since 2005, according to the Newspaper Association. It’s the advertisers’ fault.
2. Reader ADHD. People just aren’t interested in “real” news any more. They’d rather read about Ashton and Demi than Haiti. It’s the reader’s fault.
I’ve heard it all. Except for the truth. It’s the newspapers’ fault.
When the Denver Post runs stories that are simply repetitious of ones posted days earlier, like this one on skiing and helmets, it’s not professional.
When the Denver Post lets its reader comments run along with no moderation on the LEAD story yesterday (I’m not kidding) about a Colorado evangelist’s wife who is trying to forgive him over various indescretions, it’s not professional. (That’s right, The Denver Post thinks you should be happy to pay for this crap.)
My point is, that unless newspapers wake up, get humble, and realise they are creating content for an audience that has a discretionary choice across many formats, they will continue to close – and until professional journalists and editors start creating and moderating content worth paying for across these formats, they deserve to close.
The bells have been tolling for a long time. Take your fingers out of your ears.