Thursday, December 18, 2008

The News -- Win, Lose or Draw Us a Picture

piece of New Yorker cartoonThe cartoon accompanying James Surowiecki's analysis of the decline of the printed-newspaper business (Financial Page: The New Yorker) offers a new look at the "inverted pyramid": The corner of a newspaper front page has become a funnel, with the letters of type dribbling out the bottom, leaving a blank sheet in its reader's hands. If you look closely, you can see the blackletter T of The New York Times in the pied type. The story and discussion are good too...

News You Can Lose
"For most of the past decade, newspaper companies had profit margins that were the envy of other industries. This year, they have been happy just to stay in the black.... Even online ads, which were supposed to rescue the business, have declined lately, and they are, in any case, nowhere near as lucrative as their print counterparts.
"Papers’ attempts to deal with the new environment by cutting costs haven’t helped: trimming staff and reducing coverage make newspapers less appealing to readers and advertisers. It may be no coincidence that papers that have avoided the steepest cutbacks, like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, have done a better job of holding onto readers."

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