Sunday, March 8, 2009

News media decline creates cottage industry




The troubles of the newspaper industry and journalism trade overall have created a cottage industry for Web sites that track their decline.
The Web site Paper Cuts tracks U.S. newspaper closings and job cuts. It counts 56 newspapers that have closed so far this year. That’s on top of 40 that closed last year.
Paper Cuts also counts more than 3,555 newspaper jobs lost this year to date, which is on pace to beat last year’s total of 15,333-plus job cuts.
Another Web site is Newspaper Death Watch. As you’d expect the postings are mostly gloom and doom for the newspaper industry.
It also evaluates some of the solutions proposed for rescuing the industry, including subscriptions for online content, charging for premium content, turning newspapers into non-profits, government subsidies, and bundling with cable service.
A Twitter site called The Media Is Dying provides quick updates on layoffs, closures and rumors.
The Web site Magazine Death Pool tracks the demise of magazines. It’s reported on the recent deaths of Movieline’s Hollywood Life, The American, Computer Shopper and Hallmark Magazine. It’s also put slick business magazine, Portfolio, on death watch. Noting a 60% drop in ad pages in the first quarter alone, the site calls the publication “Conde Nast’s charity case.”
Magazine Death Pool also reports that more than 525 U.S. magazines folded last year. This year, as of mid-February, 40 have closed.
Newspapers and magazines have been hit hard by the recession, but other industries are suffering as much or more. There are a host of Web sites that track closures and job cuts in vertical markets, such as retail (Timely Demise), law firms (American Lawyer’s The Layoff List), and tech companies (FuckedStartups and Screwdd).
Another Web site, It Died, tracks not only shuttered tech firms, but also Web services that have been discontinued.

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