Favorite

Tough time for newspapers 

Big-city daily newspapers are having a tough time these days largely because people aren’t buying their papers every day. Only four of the 20 biggest papers have gained in circulation, and the gains were small, like the 2,600 new readers the New York Times got in the first six months of the year.

The Los Angeles Times lost 62,000 readers, Chicago Tribune 40,000, San Francisco Chronicle 30,000, Houston Chronicle 21,000, Washington Post 20,000, etc.

What’s the reason? The main one is that young people aren’t reading daily newspapers like they used to. They are watching TV, listening to the radio and reading the Internet for news, thinking, I guess, that they are getting all the information they need.

Also many young people get a kick out of listening to the opinionated bloggers on the radio or reading them on the Internet, thinking, I guess, that these people are in the know and on their side. The truth is that most of them are either somber conservatives or liberals who simply don’t have anything else to do.

You can’t compare a blogger to a journalist … a person who works all day to find out what is really happening and then Most newspapers have several editorial News about newspapers is scary. The Wall Street Journal is narrowing its pages by three inches in order to save the cost of paper ... Many big stores that advertise heavily in newspapers are consolidating, which means fewer ads in many newspapers ... Popular Internet outfits like Google, Yahoo and eBay are considering starting to sell classified ads, which provide much of the income of big daily papers ... To keep their big advertisers, some papers (the New York Times, for example) are accommodating them with faint color ads printed behind stock price quotations, sports results, or movie listings for stores that buy a small, regular ad across the bottom of the page. Old newspapermen like me would call that an ethical mistake between news and advertising.

We like to read newspapers owned by people in our town, or at least our state, rather than the owner of a nationwide chain that could become so powerful he could tell millions of Americans how to think and vote. Arkansas has about 140 newspapers, and almost all of them are locally owned, but now 37 belong to companies in 11 different states. Remember that we had two good daily newspapers in Little Rock 14 years ago, and Gannett, the chain that had bought the Arkansas Gazette, wasn’t making all the money it wanted and sold out to the Arkansas Democrat.

But it’s really the school teachers and the young adults who can keep newspapers from going out of business. Teachers have to teach them how important it is to be in a free country, and parents need to do what our mothers and fathers did — subscribe to have a newspaper delivered to their home every day.




Because I was driving back from a trip Saturday, I had to listen to Paul Eells doing his usual fine description of the sad Arkansas-South Carolina game on the radio rather than watching it on TV at home. But his sound engineer was piping in the sound of the crowd and the band so loudly that half the time I couldn’t hear what he was saying. Also, his three partners talked too much. Eells should fix this. The poor Razorbacks might lose their last three games, but we still want to listen.


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Robert McCord

  • The man behind the camera

    Newspaper photographers never get much money or attention. I know because I got my first job as one in the 1940s. In 1957, a guy named Will Counts learned it when he made the best pictures of the desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School.
    • Oct 4, 2007
  • A straw poll

    Max Brantley took the week off. In his place, Robert McCord writes about presidential politics.
    • Mar 15, 2007
  • NLR: Second city no more.

    A long-time North Little Rock resident muses on the arrival of a former governor and current lieutenant governor and looks back at hometowns of governors and presidential contenders from Arkansas.
    • Jan 25, 2007
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Bob McCord

  • NLR: Second city no more.

    A long-time North Little Rock resident muses on the arrival of a former governor and current lieutenant governor and looks back at hometowns of governors and presidential contenders from Arkansas.
    • Jan 25, 2007
  • Parting thoughts

    This column is kind of a difficult one for me, and I will tell you why at the end. I have written some things that I believe would make Arkansas a better and more prosperous state.
    • Nov 23, 2006
  • On the winning side

    There were a lot of interesting things that happened all over in the country and in Arkansas at last week’s voting. For the first time I had more winners than losers, and...
    • Nov 16, 2006
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Viewed

  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • Can't afford to gut ACA

    The Affordable Care Act was passed into law with the promise that it would make insurance affordable. Because of bipartisan leadership in Arkansas, we continue to strive to achieve that goal. While rhetoric abounds, it is important to understand the Arkansas experience.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Storm president

    It's undeniable that President Trump's public approval has improved since the moment Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Texas the last week of August; polls showed his popularity up by approximately 2 points.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • Shiny, nobody is saying that Hillary isn't entitled to speak. Shit, the more she talks,…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bad health care bill, again

    • Its hard to tell what the GOP in Arkansas care about beyond making life worse…

    • on September 20, 2017
  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • I am very glad to see a lot of women running for government positions in…

    • on September 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation