Using five years’ worth of data from the Council of Economic Advisors, LinkedIn has calculated how the job rate has grown or declined in various industries, finding that between 2007 and 2011, the U.S. newspaper industry shrunk the most of any other industry analyzed, LinkedIn reported. While the “internet” category and “online publishing” are two of the fastest growing industries, up 24.6 percent and 24.3 percent, respectively, from 2007 to 2011, the newspaper business lost the greatest percentage of jobs, down 28.4 percent, Business Insider explained. Such depressing numbers about the newspaper industry should come as no surprise considering that, in 2007, The New York Times Company was trading for about USD 25 a share, and in February 2012, USD 6.56, according to another Business Insider article. And as The Atlantic pointed out with some telling graphics, print advertising in newspapers has “collapsed.” Despite the growing internet and online publishing industries, a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellency in Journalism showed that newspapers’ online advertising revenues are not making up for print ad , as for every USD 1 gained in digital advertising, USD 7 are lost in print revenue
New York Times media critic David Carr has struck a populist nerve with his latest column. In his Monday “Media Equation” piece, Carr admonished Gannett, the massive print and broadcast media chain, for an editorial from its own USA Today about the Occupy Wall Street protests. In the editorial, the newspaper decried the Wall Street bonus system, listing it as one of the good reasons for the weeks-long protests.
Carr found this a bit hypocritical. “If you were looking for bonus excess despite miserable operations, the best recent example I can think of is Gannett, which owns USA Today,” he wrote. Thousands of readers were incensed by the column — in a good way. Some 235 people commented on it, many reacting with the same disgust Carr expressed. “I have always been mystified by the rarified ranks of the uber-execs who command these kinds of salaries in any industry. It seems to be some kind of club like Skull & Bones that once you are admitted, you are set for life,” Richard Williamson of Dallas wrote. “it’s disgusting watching these failures award themselves millions for destroying tens of thousands of lives,” Linda from Brooklyn wrote. “but it does speak to the overwhelming corruption of american corporate ‘governance.'” Other media critics, like the Guardian’s Roy Greenslade, chimed in as well: The ever-readable New York Times media commentator David Carr has contrasted what a newspaper says with what its publisher does.”
Carr, who has turned into a media star himself over the past couple of years, is no stranger to going after corporate excess or malpractice – whether he’s exposing the “bankrupt culture’ at Tribune or a history of ethical lapses at News Corp. properties. The problem at Gannett, he argued, is that while the company’s stock price continues to tank and workers lose their jobs, recently departed CEO Craig A. Dubow netted $37 million upon announcing his resignation. And that’s on top of the sky-high salary he has been earning. Yet if most agreed with Carr wholeheartedly, other readers seemed to think he picked the wrong target – keep the focus on Wall Street! Still others felt this was nothing revelatory, that this is rather obvious. And, of course, some had proposals for new targets to occupy. Occupy Wall Street! Occupy Newsrooms! Occupy Everything
The United States is spearheading an effort to maintain Internet and mobile phone service for citizens in countries where repressive governments use censorship or shut down telecommunications in the face of dissent, according to reports. The State Department-led project involves the building of independent phone networks in foreign countries and the creation of a USD 2-million prototype “Internet in a suitcase” by an entrepreneurial outfit operating out of a building on L Street in Washington, D.C., The New York Times reported. The idea is to fit innocent-looking hardware components into a package that could easily be snuck into a repressive country and quickly assembled to deliver wireless service across a wide area to maintain crucial communications between legitimately protesting citizens, according to The Times, which cited “dozens of interviews, planning documents and classified diplomatic cables” it obtained. In addition to the “Internet-in-a-suitcase” project, the State Department is funding “stealth wireless networks” in Iran, Syria, and Libya, among other countries. Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon are also teaming up on a USD 50-million project to build an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan—where the Taliban has been able to shut down service “seemingly at will” —with cell towers located on military bases in the country, the newspaper reported.
Call it a sign of the changing times: The Huffington Post had more unique visitors to its website than the venerable New York Times in May, outstripping the Grey Lady’s web traffic for the first time, according to data from market research firm comScore Inc. The newspaper, owned by New York Times Co., has been experimenting with a new online revenue model for two months now — a paywall that charges readers for access to more than a certain number of articles. In April, the first full month of the paywall, nytimes.com had 32.9 million unique visitors, still ahead of huffingtonpost.com’s 29.9 million. But HuffPo took the lead in May with 35.6 million unique visitors compared to 33.6 for the NYT. For the period from May 2010 to May 2011, the New York Times’ website hit a high of 38.1 unique visitors in March 2011, just before the introduction of the paywall. HuffPo — the popular online news site that offers a combination of aggregation and original reporting and recently launched a Canadian version — has yet to see those kind of numbers. In terms of newspaper websites, the Washington Post, LA Times and Wall Street Journal followed with 19.9 million, 18.4 million, and 13.9 million unique visitors respectively in May 2011, according to comScore
Some of the country’s most prominent newspaper companies are investing in a Silicon Valley online news venture called Ongo Inc., but are offering few details about the company. Ongo said Wednesday that the corporate parents of The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today have invested USD 4m each and contributed members to the company’s board. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company says it is building a service for reading and sharing news from different sources that will launch next year at http://www.Ongo.com. Its founder and CEO, former e-Bay executive Alex Kazim, said Ongo will “reflect the many ways consumers prefer to read, organize and share digital news.” Neither the company nor the publishers would give more specifics about what exactly Ongo will do. Nor is it clear why traditional publishers have taken an interest. They have had an uneven relationship with many of the blogs and websites that post and link to their material online. Just last week, former Washington Post Editor Leonard Downie Jr. referred to news aggregation sites like The Huffington Post as “parasites living off journalism produced by others.”
The publisher of the New York Times warned Wednesday that it would slip into the red for the third quarter because advertising revenue was falling short of expectations, both on the internet and for its print editions. Shares in the New York Times Company (NYTC) dropped by more than 5 percent on Wall Street following the gloomy update, delivered by chief executive Janet Robinson at a media conference hosted by Goldman Sachs in New York. The NYTC’s bearish news is likely to heighten fears that the media industry is struggling to pull out of a long advertising recession, amid signs that America’s broader economic recovery is stalling. The company owns the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune and 15 regional US newspapers, plus dozens of websites. It said its total revenue was likely to fall by 2 percent to 3 percent over the three months to September, compared to the same period last year, as a 14 percent rise in digital advertising failed to compensate for its weakening newsprint editions. Analysts had forecast a 1 percent revenue decline. The digital revenue increase was slightly short of its previous guidance of growth in the “mid to high teens”. Meanwhile, both print advertising revenue and circulation income were likely to fall by 5 percent, the company predicted
The Pentagon has agreed to revise some of the rules that have restricted what journalists are free to report on from Guanta’namo Bay, resolving a conflict that peaked in May when four reporters were expelled from the naval base there. The military informed news organizations of the new rules on Friday after lengthy discussions between the Pentagon’s public affairs division and lawyers for media outlets including The Associated Press, The New York Times and The Miami Herald. In a compromise, the public affairs office has agreed not to ask reporters to withhold information that has been deemed privileged by the military if such information has already been in the public domain. This was the central issue in the case involving the four reporters who were barred after they printed the name of a former Army interrogator who was a witness against a Canadian citizen accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan and detained at Guanta’namo. The interrogator’s name had been mentioned in many press accounts of the case, but a military judge had declared his name protected information. The revised policy now specifies that reporters will not be considered in violation of the rules if what they report “was legitimately obtained” in the course of newsgathering done outside Guanta’namo. The Pentagon has also agreed to work more closely with journalists before deleting photos and video taken at the naval base. Every image brought to Guanta’namo on a camera — regardless of whether it was taken there or not — is subject to review by military censors. The Pentagon has also agreed for the first time to allow journalists to formally challenge in writing decisions by the public affairs office. Previously, there was little recourse for journalists if they were denied information from the Pentagon or told they could not report something.