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Sunday, July 22, 2018
HomeAlaska NewsWilted: Newspaper companies bargaining for their lives

Wilted: Newspaper companies bargaining for their lives

By CRAIG MEDRED
CRAIGMEDRED.NEWS

Every thinking American wants quality journalism, but who defines what qualifies?

Hawkins

The country’s media elite now think they should be the arbiter. The elite have banded together to form the News Media Alliance.  It’s chief goal is to get the U.S. government to lift anti-trust restrictions that prevent newspapers from operating collectively as a cartel.

Think OPEC, and you’ve got the idea. The Alliance wants to control news the way the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries once controlled oil.

“Legislation that enables news organizations to negotiate collectively will address pervasive problems that today are diminishing the overall health and quality of the news media industry,”says David Chavern, President & CEO of the Alliance. “Quality journalism is critical to sustaining democracy and is central to civic society. To ensure that such journalism has a future, the news organizations that fund it must be able to collectively negotiate with the digital platforms that effectively control distribution and audience access in the digital age.”

Heavy with representatives of the old media – the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, Hearst Newspapers, Gannett Co. – the Alliance is trying to claim the high moral ground, but what this is really all about is money.

All across the country, once powerful newspapers are struggling to survive. They’ve lost classified advertising to craigslist and others. They’re bleeding subscribers. The value of their print advertising is falling along with the exodus of print readers because advertisers don’t want to pay as much for ever-shrinking exposure.

Meanwhile, some of these operations remain too big, too fat and too burdened with overhead to survive on the cash flow from online advertising, and attempts to monetize the internet with paywalls generally aren’t working well.

Anchorage’s lone, 6-day-per-week newspaper is in so much trouble it has stopped paying its bills. 

[READ more at CraigMedred.news]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Another excellent article, so much truth. Thank you Suzanne and contributors, you guys nail it every day.

  • Drowning in red ink, they’re reduced to grasping at straws.

  • There was only news source in Nazi Germany. Worked out pretty well for them.