Newspapers On the Brink

Similar to the troubles facing the music industry (which I hear about daily), the newspaper industry seems to heading down the road. Out here in the Bay Area, we've all heard about the numerous rounds of layoffs at the San Jose Mercury News. A friend who is fortunately still employed by the Mercury has told me that it's now essentially a skeleton crew. Current employees are pulling longer hours and covering numerous duties, while either receiving the same or a decrease in pay.

I can understand that some papers will soon be no more, but I'm shocked to hear that even media powerhouses such as the New York Times could also find a similar fate. The Economist reports that The Times' ad revenues for March of 08 are down 12.5% from the same time last year. These are daunting numbers and will clearly bring on change, in some form or the other.

The continued consolidation of American media is a truly frightening reality in this country. As reputable outlets such as the Times continue to struggle, mindless networks such as FOX, MSNBC and CNN continue to thrive. In order to find genuine and in-depth reporting, the public now needs to spend time seeking out reputable sources online and on television. As we all know, only a small portion of the general public actually does so, leaving the majority of the country awash in corporate-slanted garbage.