Think the newspaper industry was in trouble a few years ago? Don’t look now but it’s getting a whole lot worse, writes David Carr in The New York Times.
Between operational fiascos and flailing attempts to slash costs on the fly, it’s clear that the print newspaper business, which has been fretting over a looming crisis for the last 15 years, is struggling to stay afloat. There are smart people trying to innovate, and tons of great journalism is published daily, but the financial distress is more visible by the week.
And that those in the business better wise up to what’s happening around them or they could be shit out of luck.
Those of us who work inside the racket like to think of our business as unique, but with underfunded pension plans, unserviceable debt and legacy manufacturing processes and union agreements, the newspaper industry looks a lot like, well, steel, autos and textiles.
I’m glad I got out of the industry when I did, but incredibly saddened by the loss of one of our most important institutions. As a consumer of news, I know how important an independent press is to our democracy, but I’m bewildered as to what I can do to help keep it afloat.