The continuing decline of print media

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Hugh Hewitt comments on a Washington Post story on the print media's response to circulation decline. Hewitt says you can't lay all the blame on more hurried lifestyles and the rise of the Internet:

Nowhere in the article is there any discussion of the contempt for most newspapers felt by millions of center-right readers, and the barriers to subscription or even reading put up by pieces like David Shaw's today, discussed below. The newspaper people blame the pace of daily life and the move towards internet consumption of information, and both are factors. But in an age of decline, the indifference to losses in reaction to ideological bias is a testament to the depth of that bias and the accompanying blindess to it.

I've written about the Tulsa World's blindness to their own bias. Every day, the World publishes a biased story or ignores a story because their bias blinds them to its significance, and in the process makes a few new enemies, people who decide that they would just as soon never give the Lorton family another penny for their worthless rag. The World demonstrates daily contempt for the conservative perspective on social issues, for evangelical Christianity, and for the notion that government should serve the people (not the other way around). They are losing circulation because they are out of step with the Tulsa market, but it's more comforting to believe that it's because they neglected to put all their content behind their firewall.


As Dustbury said It was always thus: you read The Tulsa Tribune for news, and the Tulsa World
for, um, well, no one really knows why anyone read the Tulsa World.

Bring back the Tulsa Tribune

I am not sure we really qualify as local media since we no longer publish a 10,000 or greater tabloid newspaper but instead just publish on the web, but the Tulsa Computer Society's I/O Port Newsletter has covered the subject, and it is being discussed in the TulsaNow forum. It was also covered in TulsaTopics

The above response really applies to How long will local media ignore a global story, but I tried several times to post it there, and kept getting an error message there, so I posted it here, and then I found I could post it there now. Sorry for the duplication.

dw said:

One thing that continues to make me laugh is how all of you could rant on and on about how liberal the Whirled is. If the Whirled is liberal, then the Joklahoman is The Nation, the Washington Times the Communist Daily.

Does a lack of reporting on evangelical Christian issues (or without an evangelical slant) make a paper liberal? Doesn't that automatically make the New York Post a flaming liberal paper for canning Dawn Eden?

Truth is, the Whirled's decline is directly tied to their cronyism, lack of a willingness to embrace new technology, and Tulsans' distaste for a poorly written and poorly laid out paper. Oh, and the brain drain -- all the Washington/Edison/Memorial kids grabbing their degrees, leaving town, and never returning.

We'd all love the Tribune back, but that ship has sailed. And the various incarnations of the Sentinel will never sub for the Whirled, not unless someone can give them the capital to go daily and buy a high quality press.

I think that Tulsa could be without a daily within the next 20 years. The Lortons have cash, but they're not willing to spend the money to hire good people in the business. I mean, you can't secure the PDF files? Their computer guy is an idiot if he doesn't know how to limit access to a subscriber list.

The political spectrum is not one-dimensional. The Tulsa World is a socially liberal, corporatist, pro-oligarchy newspaper. The Tulsa World only rarely lines up with conservative thought -- usually only when the publisher dictates to the editorial board that they endorse someone they clearly don't care for, like Steve Largent or John Sullivan. Not only does the World take a liberal line on social issues, they regularly demonstrate that they don't understand what motivates the conservative point of view on those issues. On fiscal matters, the World always prefers higher taxes. When it comes to business, they aren't in favor of free markets and a level playing field. The World likes special deals for special pals -- an approach that conservatives, libertarians, and leftists all condemn. On national defense and foreign policy, the World lines up with the mushy middle -- not virulently anti-war and anti-Israel, but definitely pro-appeasement. No conservative I know feels that the World editorial board demonstrates a kindred spirit.

As for the New York Post, it is also not a socially conservative newspaper -- it tends toward agnosticism on social issues, as a commenter on Dawn's blog noted, rather than the outright hostility that characterizes the World. The management clearly desires that the paper should not be identified with religious conservatives. On defense and economic issues, it lines up pretty well with conservative views -- that's where it differs from the World.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 21, 2005 9:08 AM.

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