Monday, March 5, 2012

Newspaper glass half-full (or half-empty)

There's a wonderful example of viewing the media glass as half-full or half-empty in the above chart from Mark Perry at the University of Michigan showing newspaper advertising revenues are at the levels of newspapers in the 1950s. A story by Steve Myers on the Poynter site lashes it up with ASNE's newspaper employment numbers showing employment at 1970s' levels.

Glass half empty version: Newspapers are virtually dead since ad revenues are so low, and they're working their staff way too much since newsrooms have 1970s' staff numbers and 1950s' ad revenues.

Glass half full version: There are still lots of newspaper jobs, although much tighter resources due to low ad revenues. Newspapers are leaner, more-efficient operations with much more flexibility than ever before -- and there are all sorts of new opportunities. Myers reports that circulation revenues are up due to higher prices, while digital revenues are also way up.

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