Jun 24 2008

News Media Suffers From Biased, Faulty Product

Published by at 9:49 am under All General Discussions

It is simply astounding that after years of biased and error prone reporting the news media is surprised that America is turning away from their shoddy products. The liberal, dinosaur news media is like the US Auto industry in the 1970’s and 1980’s, blissfully ignorant of how their arrogance is destroying an industry others spent lifetimes building. What others had built, this current generation of naive egomaniacs bred on fluff, lacking all substance and depth, have crippled the nation’s newspapers:

For newspapers, the news has swiftly gone from bad to worse. This year is taking shape as their worst on record, with a double-digit drop in advertising revenue, raising serious questions about the survival of some papers and the solvency of their parent companies.

Ad revenue, the primary source of newspaper income, began sliding two years ago, and as hiring freezes turned to buyouts and then to layoffs, the decline has only accelerated.

On top of long-term changes in the industry, the weak economy is also hurting ad sales, especially in Florida and California, where the severe contraction of the housing markets has cut deeply into real estate ads. Executives at the Hearst Corporation say that one of their biggest papers, The San Francisco Chronicle, is losing $1 million a week.

Over all, ad revenue fell almost 8 percent last year. This year, it is running about 12 percent below that dismal performance, and company reports issued last week suggested a 14 percent to 15 percent decline in May.

“Never in my most bearish dreams six months ago did I think we’d be talking about negative 15 percent numbers against weak comps,” said Peter S. Appert, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. “I think the probability is very high that there will be a number of examples of individual newspapers and newspaper companies that fall into a loss position. And I think it’s inevitable that there will be closures in this industry, and maybe bankruptcies.”

The one factor that these self-analyses fail to face up to is the fact this industry had been producing a proven biased and faulty product for years. The debacle of RaTHergate is only the best known of an endless list of bad reporting.

Today the news media faces thousands of fact checkers and a sea of voices representing the full spectrum of American views on the internet. News is now checked and challenged in real time. Granted, many voices are not significantly up on the issues or the area from which they arise, but enough are and they do a fine job of correcting the news media’s errors. The result is that the news media has had the misfortune of having its mistakes publicized on a regular basis, simply reaffirming the case against the quality of the product being produced.

There should be no surprise, then, that faulty products lead to lost sales, revenues and bankruptcy. What should be happening is investors should be taking the egomaniacs who supposedly run these organizations (or at least have run them into the ground) to court for incompetence and failure to address known and publicized issues.

Diverse views and experiences exist all over America. The blogosphere is full of people who could help the news media hone the accuracy and import of their news. Instead the journalist majors have gone into a bunker mentality because those with science and engineering degrees, military experience, etc – you name it – keep noting the fallacies of their reporting. They have their cadre of biased experts with agendas and fail to leverage the diversity of America. And because of that they are failing. Doh!

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “News Media Suffers From Biased, Faulty Product”

  1. gwood says:

    Certainly the bias is part of the demise of the newspaper business, but there are other factors as well. One of those factors is the exponential growth of internet and e-mail advertising, largely because it is so much more efficient at reaching the maximum number of potential customers for the lowest cost.

    I’m an advertiser, I run a company with a $60,000 per month ad budget. Over the last five years, we have gradually gotten away from TV, radio, and now newspaper advertising. The telephone, with the proliferation now of caller ID, has ceased to be a tool, not only for prospecting, but for customer relationship maintenance also. We now rely on internet communication, specifically a newsletter sent monthly, occasional “e-post card” announcements, and personal visits.

    Roughly half the citizens of this country lean left, this is no small market. The newspapers are simply giving them what they want, while ignoring those of us on the other side ideologically. I’m not sure that straddling the middle, something journalism is probably incapable of doing, would be any better as a business model for them than the niche they have obviously chosen.

  2. ama055131 says:

    The post is funny Gallup just took a poll on approval ratings the media received a 24% approval rating approximatley 10% lower then Pres. Bush, 50% less then our military and 12% higher then Congress

  3. WWS says:

    One of the problems that advertisers are finding with newspaper ads is the realization that subscriptions do not equal ad views. A large number of newspaper subscriptions in cities such as Houston, Dallas, and other cities with big sports franchises are bought simply for the local sports coverage, with the rest of the paper tossed away unseen. If you’re an advertiser, an ad anyplace besides the sports page is money for nothing.

  4. crosspatch says:

    The other problem is content. I can turn on any major cable news network and hear: “According to the NY Times …” Every outlet carries the same news so what difference does it make? Why should I have to by the Times to hear what the Times has to say about something?

    Ad revenues are directly related to circulation numbers. A newspaper’s advertising rates are set by their circulation. The higher the circulation, the higher the ad rates. NY Times has seen dramatic drops in circulation, particularly in NYC where they compete with the NY Post and the WSJ (both owned by Rupert Murdoch). The Post’s circulation is increasing. I am not sure about the WSJ.

    NYT’s circulation inside NYC has gone down 33% since 1993. Overall circulation is down about 10% which means that an increasing share of the readers don’t live in the NYC market.

    In 1993 the NYT saw 64 percent of its readers in the NYC market. That is now down to 47 percent. So if you have a store in NY that is having a sale, the NYT is a lot less effective vehicle for your ad to your potential customer base.

    The New York Post, on the other hand is seeing its circulation increase. It is larger than the Washington Post and in 2006 it was the 5th largest paper in the US. And most of its readership is in the NYC market.

  5. crosspatch says:

    Heck, as far as I know not a single US paper ran anything significant about this story last Sunday:

    British special forces operating on the border between Afghanistan and Iran have uncovered fresh evidence that Tehran is actively backing insurgents fighting UK troops.

    Documented proof that Iran is supplying the Taliban with devastating roadside bomb-making equipment has been passed by British officials to Tehran, prompting fears that the war in Afghanistan may escalate into a regional armed conflict.

    Days after Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Britain would freeze the assets of Iran’s largest bank to discourage Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, Whitehall sources revealed that they had forwarded ‘documentation’ that the Iranian authorities were supplying enemy forces in Afghanistan.

    ‘We have given Tehran documentation of things that we are concerned about, but of course they have denied it,’ a Whitehall source said.

    Nato spokesman James Appathurai echoed concerns that elements in Iran are providing support to insurgents fighting British troops. He said: ‘Weapons of Iranian origin have turned up in Afghanistan in significant numbers.’

    The situation is so serious that the UK government is believed to have asked Russia and India to raise the issue with Tehran, and to emphasise its wider implications. Evidence found by UK special forces is understood to concern the supply of the same bomb-making equipment Iran provides to insurgents in Iraq, namely components for explosively formed projectiles, or EFPs.

    What they don’t print is just as important as what they do print.

  6. MerlinOS2 says:

    Without going back to find the details, NewsBusters had a story a few months ago when the last circulation numbers were released that talked about the new method they shifted to for calculation of circulation compared to the past.

    For the NYT , they lost local circulation but their total number held near the same by adding in their national version printed around the country plus some fudge factor for their web site traffic included.

  7. Mark78 says:

    Many in the media admitted long ago that they would do what was in their power to prevent war with Iran. I guess that includes turning a blind eye to them killing Americans and our allies. Disgusting, isn’t it? Hiding the truth from Americans about our sons and daughters being killed….

  8. Mark78 says:

    Strike that. They will talk all about our military members being killed to crucify politicians they hate, Republicans, but won’t talk about it when it makes “their” party look weak, Dems. If this was an America first mentality it would be different but it is a DNC first mentality.

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