I read recently where Google now generates more in advertising revenue than the entire print media industry. A 2012 version of the article is here, and has been updated since though I fail to locate it given meager effort.
And though Google is certainly no friend to the readers of this site, it’s a fascinating trend that is not wholly technology driven. Many newspapermen like to assuage their bell-tolling grief by embracing a fatalistic “it had to happen” lament. People, particularly those of more recent vintage, want their news and opinion delivered electronically. And what could print do against this? Unfortunately for them, that isn’t the whole story. For not only did their means of delivery become antiquated, but also their content. Milquetoast mainstream liberalism has been the only permissible perspective for newspapers across the country (including those handful of nominally conservative) for generations. The same with magazines, excluding fringe editions that attract no material sponsorship.
While editors of these outlets hew tightly to their received wisdom, huge swaths of the market no longer accept their Pravda monopoly. Diversity, Vibrant, Youths, Teens, and Random Act of Violence are now acknowledged terms of derision. Ones that, to my own personal amazement, this industry continues to obliviously deploy. Do they ever deign to read their own electronic comment sections? The ridicule in race-related articles will usually commence by the first or second entry. The original article doesn’t even function as a medium to communicate information, but rather as a clay-pigeon. A lump of dumb transparent propaganda, briefly wobbling airborne with no other function than to be fired upon by the exasperated readership who are increasingly having none of it. Of course when this fire becomes too accurate or intense, editors routinely shut down the range with the now ubiquitous: Comments are closed. This uttered with an impenetrable lack of circumspection. Those were just thousands of comments by hate-filled racist extremists. Nothing to see there. This followed a quarter later by shocked anguish at disintegrating financials. It’s almost as if the public no longer trusts these outlets. And almost as if they can’t comprehend why.
And so media consumers continue to move in two intersecting directions. Away from both paper and the pap printed on it. More are seeking outlets that speak candidly about the world on display from their own senses. And more want to be able to discuss what they see in terms outside the sliver of publicly acceptable discourse. In short, people gravitate to sources they trust.
A brief closing anecdote: My local newspaper recently called to market a subscription. The salesman stated his terms…$25/month (or some such) for full delivery.
I want more than $25/month.
ummm, sir, actually it would be you paying us.
Oh. Well that’s out of the question then.
But sir, how will you remain informed?