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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, October 09, 2006

It Is To Laugh: The New York Times Shrinking To Cut Costs

This comes from the Financial Times. Yes, there's more to the story, but the kids don't have a subscription to the site:

The New York Times is planning to shrink the size of its pages by 11 per cent in an effort to counteract a steady rise in newsprint prices.

The change, which will take effect in 2008, represents one of the most dramatic adjustments to the paper’s appearance in its 155-year history. It is expected to save the company $12m per year.

Is it really to combat the rising costs of production, or is it something that they'd rather not admit? This question dovetails with this story regarding Europe's web use. More people, it seems, are going to the Web rather than newspapers in Europe. A prospect that spells doom for those in the mainstream media.

The time European consumers spend online has, for the first time, overtaken the hours they devote to newspapers and magazines, a study revealed.

But the growth of new media is expanding total media consumption rather than simply cannibalising print and television....

...“The fact that internet consumption has passed print consumption is an important landmark for the establishment of the internet in Europe,” said Mark Mulligan, research director at Jupiter. “This shift in the balance of power will increasingly shape content distribution strategies, advertising spend allocation and communication strategies.”

By far most of the time Europeans spent online was devoted to e-mail and search activities. Entertainment content such as music and video still accounted for only 22 per cent of online activity.

The research found “a very clear new media/old media generational divide”, Mr Mulligan said. Under-25s now spend six hours a week online, half the time they spend watching television but three times the hours they devote to print. Those aged 15-24 are almost twice as likely as the average consumer “to consume music and video content online. Their habits are going to change the face of the web as they become more mainstream,” Mr Mulligan said.

And just where will old media be in a few years? There are already cuts going on in the US with several papers where they have been forced to layoff areas of their workforce. Over the last year, or so, both the New York Times and LA Times have had to let thousands go. Earlier this year, both papers closed down distribution sites across the country. And insiders have reported two important things about the New York Times.

First, their "Times Select" program is a dud. No one cares about Maureen Dowd, or any other columnist enough to pay for their pathetic drivel. Second, their advertising dollars have been shrinking. Advertisers are making their shift now from print media to Internet media. Go to just about any blog site, and you'll see ads in the sidebars. They're flocking to the big names--the movers and shakers in the blogosphere. Print media is dying a slow, drawn-out, painful death. And to paraphrase Captain James T. Kirk, I say "let them die."

The old media did this to themselves. They didn't adapt as the public did. Gone were the days of simply accepting what they reported, and be unable to catch them in their lies. But that was yesterday, and this is today. Dan Rather was caught. Reuters and the New York Times were caught. The bias from media outlets has been outed up and down "blog roiw" on the 'Net, and the consumer hasn't been kind with it's analysis. And it's all due to the Internet generation. The old media is fighting as they're going down, but it'll have no impact on the ultimate conclusion in the age of print/TV media. The Internet has a wide variety of "Davids" in it's midst, and they're all showing the media that they can handle news reporting and analysis just as good as they do, if not better in many cases.

If the old media shrugs and states that this report is only about Europe, then they'd better take a closer look at the report. The Europeans lag behind Americans in terms of 'Net usage. This report shows that they're starting to catch up. Pretty soon, the old media will have to go to forcing the consumer to "buy" their paper online. For the most part, people won't. And it's because there are numerous infomration sources out there. Between Google, Yahoo, and and Drudge, even the amateur newshounds can dig up the stories they need. And they should remember that those three sites are just the tip of the iceberg. There are others that are out there that bloggers use all the time, and none of them charge any sort of subscription fee.

But the writing is on the wall, and the old media is simply calling it "graffiti." They can do that, but they'd be wrong. In this day and age, as science and technology makes advancements in leaps and bounds, the old media has only two choices. Adapt and evolve, or die. And right now they're doing a decent job of impersonating a corpse.

Sabrina McKinney


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