Recovering Journalist Outlines Future of Newspaper Industry

Came across an interesting blog called Recovering Journalist. As a recovering journalist and editor myself, I found it noteworthy. After all, if you love making no money, all the while wondering which of society’s finest you’re about to get an irate phone call from, then journalism is the profession for you! (My recruitment pitch needs work, I know.)

But this post discusses the future of the industry and what we may see in the coming year in order to improve profitability for newspapers nationwide. Here are some highlights (or lowlights). For further detail, read the full post:

  • More downsizing
  • More bankruptcies
  • Death of two-newspaper towns
  • Reduced publishing frequency
  • Better Web/print balance
  • Sharing, clustering and consolidation
  • Outright closings

Regarding the Web/print balance, reporting veteran Mark Potts contends:

Forward-thinking papers will do a better job of making their Web sites stand as solid alternatives to the print product, and may reduce the size of the print edition as an alternative to shutting certain days. This goes double, at least, for advertising: Newspaper sites need to get much smarter about Web advertising, to make the Web edition a much more robust contributor to revenue (and a more realistic replacement for lost print revenue). That involves going way beyond the banner ad to make real strides in contextual ads, search ads, targeted ads, non-traditional revenue sources, premium services and, especially, stepping up efforts to sell to small local advertisers that large newspapers traditionally have ignored.

Does Obama Really Want to Bankrupt the Coal Industry?

Our election night partners at Hoosier Access have a detailed post on this, but it seems Barack Obama actually told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would like such aggressive cap and trade measures put in place that it would bankrupt the coal industry?

Read the full post with audio here, and decide for yourself.

Indiana Coal Production since 2004:
2007 – 34,231,151 tons
2006 – 34,715,610 tons
2005 – 34,460,052 tons
2004 – 35,240,514 tons

In Indiana, we still have a rather heavy reliance on coal and it should be noted that Duke Energy is currently building the first large-scale clean coal plant in Edwardsport.

Not only would a collapse of the coal industry be detrimental to Indiana, but it would have an even greater impact on top coal producers like West Virginia, where the industry provides around 40,000 jobs.

Update: As you might imagine, those who understand coal’s contribution to the national economy aren’t super enthused about Obama’s comments. Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association, issued a press release today and mentions Indiana in his remarks:

"These undisputed, audio-taped remarks, which include comments from Senator Obama like ‘I haven’t been some coal booster’ and ‘if they want to build [coal plants], they can, but it will bankrupt them’ are extraordinarily misguided.

"It’s evident that this campaign has been pandering in states like Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania to attempt to generate votes from coal supporters, while keeping his true agenda hidden from the state’s voters.