Long after the local newspaper business stops making any sense at all, there'll be a lot of powerful brand names that will retain value better than what the printing presses pumped out. That's how we'll get local news outlets without much local news.
Joshua BentonAs the local newspaper business decays, we're going to see more cases like this: One paper buying the name and subscriber list of another and creating a thinly rebranded edition of what they're already producing. The delocalizing of local.
The merger of the United States' No. 1 and No. 2 newspaper chains will likely spark a new wave of consolidation among its smaller competitors. But will the potential cost savings be eaten up by debt payments to financiers?
Joshua BentonBreaking news from @kdoctor: The merger of the two largest newspaper companies in the United States — @Gannett and @GateHouse_Media — is very close to a done deal and could be announced as soon as tomorrow morning before the market opens
We will all benefit if the Los Angeles Times becomes a West Coast counterweight to those dailies in New York and D.C. But it'll take a bigger investment in reader retention to get there.
Joshua BentonFor my @latimes story, I pulled together two numbers for a few big newspapers: how many print subscribers they had in 2002 vs. how many *digital* subscribers they have now.
And it basically explains the crisis in local news...
IN ONE CHART!
The property that once served as a secret burial ground for James “Whitey” Bulger’s gang is listed for $3.5. million.
Joshua Benton$3.5 million for a Boston 2.5br/1.5ba may seem like a lot, but when you realize that's only $1.16 mil for each person Whitey Bulger murdered and buried in its dirt basement, you can see the value
"Access isn’t the same as acceptance," says Harvard professor Anthony Abraham Jack.
Joshua Benton“Half of the lower-income black students and one-third of the lower-income Latinx students at elite colleges actually graduate from boarding, day, and preparatory high schools” —@tony_jack
That a local daily was having trouble making money isn't news. But that the national chains weren't willing to buy it on the cheap is.
Joshua BentonI'm worried that the closing of Youngstown's daily The @Vindicator could actually be a turning point for local newspapers.
Not because they were in financial trouble (that's old news) but because no chain was willing to sweep in and buy it on the cheap.
Speaker of the House Jose Oliva told journalists recently that Miami Beach flooding is caused by sinking land due to development. That's true in a few areas of Miami Beach, but it's a relatively minor and temporary contributor. We rate his statement...
Joshua BentonStumbled upon this “Fact or Fake?” fact check when googling for something else and I think it’s a good illustration of politicians having a very reasonable complaint about fact-checkers!
What if distrust is a smaller problem than the way news consumption leaves readers stressed, anxious, depressed, afraid, disempowered, and exhausted?
Joshua BentonI wrote a piece that argues something I've been thinking lately: that we've been overemphasizing "trust" in the post-Trump discussions about journalism and underemphasizing the fact that many people just think reading lots of news makes their lives worse.