Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ken Doctor: 800,000 unwritten news stories this year

Paul Gillin over at Newspaper Death Watch has a 33-minute interview with Ken Doctor about the recent newspaper travails. The audio player is at the end of the story.

Much about the interview I have disagreements with, but there is also much that where he is right on. By his math, with the number of newsroom layoffs there have been 800,000 fewer news stories written in 2009 than in 2005 before the newspaper downturn began.

The fact that he cites Jeff Jarvis as some kind of guru, considering his work on the pathetic site is troubling, but he has some decent thoughts about new online ventures.

About 13 minutes into the interview he admits that even with the downturn, 85 percent of a news organization's revenue still comes from the print product. This dirty little secret always gets a passing mention by the folks who tout the online product, but it is still significant that the cuts come in the print product to support the online product and the revenue support is exactly the opposite.

For all the support of online, Ken Doctor rightly points out that an online subscription model probably will not work either.

But he has some good points about how media must move forward. If you have a spare 33 minutes it might be worth your time, especially if you are a news junkie like me.

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