Is the media killing itself?

With the recent and growing decline of traditional newspapers there are several theories being touted around that could be attributed to the sudden drop in circulation and audience figures.

It’s true that the media has become accustom to reporting headline grabbing stories (that’s its job after all) and it’s rare you can open a paper without any new scary statistics being reported on the credit crunch – or should I say impending depression.

In truth the recession has been the hot topic for newspapers since October last year and, as of writing it still shows no evidence of slowing up in its domination of the headlines. The constant gloomy reminder of the financial problems in almost every area of business has caused us all to be a little more hesitant when spending our cash and this has in turn has helped to stop businesses spending their money and buying services from other businesses.

When customer numbers start to fall companies have to ‘batten down the hatches’ and make cut backs. Many of them choose to cut advertising and public relations budgets first. Whether this is right or wrong is another debate. However, if businesses do decide to stop advertising this esults in advertising revenues for the local newspapers and regional TV channels being drastically reduced.

Drew Benvie wrote an interesting post a while ago in which he discussed how during the week of the Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross saga, the state of the economy was no longer at the forefront of the nations mind, and as a result business improved on a national scale, but this soon fell back once the recession made it back onto the media agenda.

My local paper the Yorkshire Post is just one example of many regional newspapers which were once strong but are now going through tough times and making unfortunate cut backs. To be honest this is a real shame and my colleagues and I have visited the journalists several times recently to show our support on their picket line.

Jon Sterling who writes the Real Estate blog, considers the fact that times and technology have now changed. How right he is? The internet and social media are certainly contributing to the newspapers decline, there is no doubt about that – we are all getting our news differently today than we did say ten or even five years ago.

Personally I think the newspapers should start focussing on some of the companies which are benefitting from the recession because they are out there. I was listening to a commentator on Radio 4 yesterday stating that a lot of insurance companies have made substantial sums from the crunch. Maybe if we had some positivity in the business media those all important advertising revenues would start to increase again and confidence would return.

What do you think? Is the media is contributing to its own demise?

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2 comments on “Is the media killing itself?
  1. Interesting thought, Chris. I certainly don’t think that the newspapers are doing themselves a favour by notoriously writing about recession, which is not a hot topic anymore. Moreover, people are growing tired of negativity, and looking for more light and fun content. Neither can I see how it helps to boost advertising revenues, with the ads sometimes looking ridiculously inappropriate on the background of gloominess.
    But if that’s what killing newspapers? I don’t know. I think mainstream media should revisit much of its todays practice on many levels. I don’t think it’s enough that newspapers just ‘join’ social media club by letting users participate in the discussions. I think they should narrow their focus, and concentrate on providing readers with some outstanding content.
    Good post – and I like your new design!

  2. Thanks for your comments Helena. I did reply earlier but the blog platform I use seems to have removed my comment rather odd. Anyway, I agree with you – content is key to online conversation and if the newspapers want to stay with ‘The Times’ they should ensure the content they are providing is the best.

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