Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2004 / 24 Teves, 5765

Newspaper sale$ decline should be blamed on the journos

By Jack Kelly


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The best editor in America today isn't a journalist. He's Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, also known as the "Instapundit." He's endangering my livelihood.


I used to say that I was in a declining industry, but fortunately, I was declining faster than it was. Now I'm not so sure.


Last year was a lousy year for newspapers. Circulation was stagnant, or dropped, at two thirds of all dailies in America, including such biggies as the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, where readership is in free fall.


Most years recently have been bad years for newspapers. In 1950, 123 percent of households subscribed to a newspaper. (One household in five subscribed to more than one paper.) Today the figure is less than 53 percent.


Circulation declines may be larger than these numbers indicate. Four big newspapers   —   the Chicago Sun Times, the Dallas Morning News, Long Island's Newsday, and the Spanish language newspaper Hoy   —   have admitted supplying bogus numbers to the Audit Bureau of Circulation.


The evening newscasts on network television have been losing viewers even faster than newspapers have been shedding readers. Audiences for the nightly news on ABC, NBC and CBS have fallen 59 percent from their peak in 1969. At dinner time in 1980, 75 percent of all television sets in use were tuned to one of the three nightly newscasts. Last year, barely more than one in five were.


Worse times are head. Senior citizens are, by far, the most reliable newspaper readers and watchers of broadcast television news. The younger people get, the less likely they are to subscribe to newspapers or watch Dan or Peter or Brian. When our current crop of seniors dies off in five or ten years, we're going to be in a world of hurt.

Donate to JWR


We have a technological problem. The "news cycle" is now 24/7. Because of production and distribution costs, it's impractical to put out a newspaper more than once a day. This means that much of what we report as "news" is really "olds" to that portion of our subscribers who watch television, listen to radio, or go online.


The broadcast networks   —   which exist chiefly to provide entertainment   —   are used to providing us with news at a time that is convenient to them, a half hour in the early evening. The cable news networks provide news updates constantly throughout the day and well into the night.


If our only problem were technological, newspapers would still be in pretty good shape. Radio and television deprived us of the ability to give you breaking news first. But since all you can get in a couple of minutes on the hour and half hour is the headlines, and all the copy in a half hour television newscast would barely fill a single newspaper column, we still had a large lead in providing depth and context to the news.


That's where our trust problem kicks in. Journalists rank near the bottom of the professions in honesty and ethical standards, according to Gallup's annual survey. Last year, only 21 percent of respondents said newspaper reporters had high or very high ethical standards.


An awful lot of you don't trust us to get our facts straight, to tell both sides of the story, or to put the news in context. For that, more and more of you are turning to web logs, or "blogs." There were hardly any blogs five years ago. There are more than four million today. There could be eight million by the next election.


Blogs provided you with information we in the "mainstream" media didn't want you to have, such as John Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia," and the fact that the documents on which Dan Rather and CBS were relying for a hit piece on President Bush's National Guard service were forgeries.


Journalists tend not to like bloggers, because they report on errors we make. Dan Rather and former New York Times editor Howell Raines are unemployed chiefly because of the vigilance and tenacity of bloggers. (We journalists rarely turn the spotlights we use on business leaders and government officials on ourselves.)


People who work at journalism full time ought to be able to do a better job of it than people for whom it is a hobby. But that's not going to happen as long as we "professional" journalists ignore stories we don't like and try to hide our mistakes. We think of ourselves as "gatekeepers." But there is not much future in being a gatekeeper when the walls are down.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and the media consider must-reading. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.




JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2005, Jack Kelly