Pittsburgh now the largest major city without a daily newspaper

One of the oldest newspapers in the country told its readers that it is cutting its production schedule from seven days a week to five.  The 232-year-old Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will still post a digital edition of the paper but will no longer publish a print edition every day.  This means that Pittsburgh will become the largest city in the nation without a daily newspaper.

The Hill:

"It's the year 2018, and with the way people review and expect to review information and news, we think we're doing the right thing," said Keith Wilkowski, vice president of legal and government affairs for Block Communications Inc., the company based in Toledo, Ohio, that owns the Post-Gazette, on June 27.

"We will be publishing a (digital) newspaper seven days a week," Wilkowski added.  "And, frankly, we reach more people via online than through the print publication."

The union representing newsroom employees made sounds like a dinosaur braying at the moon as it sank into extinction.

 

 

The death of print newspapers can be tracked by toting up the casualties:

A Pew Research Center analysis in July found that more than half of the largest newspapers in the U.S. have laid off employees since January 2017.

That study found that nine of the 16 newspapers nationwide with circulations of 250,000 or more, or 56 percent, had experienced layoffs during a 16-month period ending in April.

The print side of newspapers has continued struggling to stay afloat as free and more convenient digital options are readily available for consumers.

Those who mourn the loss of another daily newspaper are wasting their time.  Newspapers died long ago – or at least what was interesting and vital about them expired decades ago.  The meaty backgrounders; in-depth interviews with interesting people with reporters asking hard questions; exposing corruption, venality, and criminal activity of both parties – these are things newspapers used to do routinely.  In the days before the internet and the advent of TV "journalism," people were more interested in being informed and entertained by good, solid reporting.

I won't go into what major newspaper journalism has become today.  There are still good newspaper reporters who will follow a story no matter where it leads.  Whether their editors run it is another question.  But to tar an entire profession because of the actions of biased reporters and editors just isn't logical.  Until newspapers decided they wanted to compete with the TV networks and make the news more dramatic and less informative, the vast majority of newspaper reporters were more interested in relating the facts than offering an opinion.  Today, with "advocacy journalism," few even bother.

There used to be a solid line drawn between what newspapers offered and what broadcast news offered.  Today, that line is blurred.  And since people don't see a need to read a story when it can be visually represented on TV or the internet, the death of print journalism was assured.

I'm sure there were howls of protest when blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and mom-and-pop grocery stores went the way newspapers are going today.  We survived all that, and we'll survive the death of the daily newspaper.  It's just that it makes old-timers like me wistful to remember the pleasure of spending a Sunday morning buried in a newspaper, letting the reporter bring the world into my home.

 

 

One of the oldest newspapers in the country told its readers that it is cutting its production schedule from seven days a week to five.  The 232-year-old Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will still post a digital edition of the paper but will no longer publish a print edition every day.  This means that Pittsburgh will become the largest city in the nation without a daily newspaper.

The Hill:

"It's the year 2018, and with the way people review and expect to review information and news, we think we're doing the right thing," said Keith Wilkowski, vice president of legal and government affairs for Block Communications Inc., the company based in Toledo, Ohio, that owns the Post-Gazette, on June 27.

"We will be publishing a (digital) newspaper seven days a week," Wilkowski added.  "And, frankly, we reach more people via online than through the print publication."

The union representing newsroom employees made sounds like a dinosaur braying at the moon as it sank into extinction.

 

 

The death of print newspapers can be tracked by toting up the casualties:

A Pew Research Center analysis in July found that more than half of the largest newspapers in the U.S. have laid off employees since January 2017.

That study found that nine of the 16 newspapers nationwide with circulations of 250,000 or more, or 56 percent, had experienced layoffs during a 16-month period ending in April.

The print side of newspapers has continued struggling to stay afloat as free and more convenient digital options are readily available for consumers.

Those who mourn the loss of another daily newspaper are wasting their time.  Newspapers died long ago – or at least what was interesting and vital about them expired decades ago.  The meaty backgrounders; in-depth interviews with interesting people with reporters asking hard questions; exposing corruption, venality, and criminal activity of both parties – these are things newspapers used to do routinely.  In the days before the internet and the advent of TV "journalism," people were more interested in being informed and entertained by good, solid reporting.

I won't go into what major newspaper journalism has become today.  There are still good newspaper reporters who will follow a story no matter where it leads.  Whether their editors run it is another question.  But to tar an entire profession because of the actions of biased reporters and editors just isn't logical.  Until newspapers decided they wanted to compete with the TV networks and make the news more dramatic and less informative, the vast majority of newspaper reporters were more interested in relating the facts than offering an opinion.  Today, with "advocacy journalism," few even bother.

There used to be a solid line drawn between what newspapers offered and what broadcast news offered.  Today, that line is blurred.  And since people don't see a need to read a story when it can be visually represented on TV or the internet, the death of print journalism was assured.

I'm sure there were howls of protest when blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and mom-and-pop grocery stores went the way newspapers are going today.  We survived all that, and we'll survive the death of the daily newspaper.  It's just that it makes old-timers like me wistful to remember the pleasure of spending a Sunday morning buried in a newspaper, letting the reporter bring the world into my home.