Friday, April 29, 2016

Papers at Their Lowest Point

"Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media. Just 6 percent of respondents in a poll had a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress. Democrats were more likely to trust the media than Republicans or independents. But trust goes beyond the traditional principles of accuracy, balance, and fairness. Faced with ever-increasing sources of information, Americans also are more likely to rely on news that is up-to-date, concise, and cites expert sources or documents, according to a study by the Media Insight Project, a partnership of the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. They want to be able to navigate the news app or website easily, without having to wade through ads. ‘‘The skill set that journalists have to master is bigger,’’ said Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute, because expectations have increased. But the poll shows accuracy is clearly the most important component. Nearly 90 percent said it’s extremely or very important the media get the facts correct. African-Americans, Hispanics, and people following stories about crime and public safety are particularly likely to say it’s very important to see their communities and people who look like them represented in reporting. About 6 in 10 Americans watch, read, or hear news several times a day. A majority get news from social media, most frequently by far from Facebook. Yet only 12 percent of those who use Facebook say they have a lot of trust in the information on the site. Twitter attracts smaller numbers for news than Facebook, and about 18 percent have a good deal of trust in what they see. The poll of 2,014 adults was done Feb. 18 to March 21. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 2.9 points."

I almost missed that, and can you see why I'm calling it quits?

New York Times to invest in international digital audience to expand and increase revenue outside the United States 

I haven't bought their edition of lies since 2007. Just touching one by mistake fills me with the urge to decontaminate.

New York Times to close editing and print production facility in Paris

And opening one in China

Anything else on the new$$tand?

"Gannett offers $815 million for Tribune Publishing" by Leslie Picker and Sydney Ember New York Times  April 26, 2016

NEW YORK — The Gannett Co. has offered to acquire the Tribune Publishing Co., which owns newspapers including The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, for about $815 million including the assumption of debt.

Tribune Publishing was spun off from Tribune Co., now called Tribune Media, in August 2014 and saddled with about $350 million in debt. Since then, its stock has tumbled as Tribune Publishing’s newspapers, like many print publications, have struggled with declining circulation and dwindling print advertising revenue.


The recent upheaval at Tribune Publishing is the latest the company has faced. Soon after the real estate tycoon Sam Zell bought the company’s predecessor for $8.2 billion in 2007, it filed for bankruptcy, with $7.6 billion in assets against a debt of $13 billion.

The culture at the company had turned poisonous, and Tribune Tower, once a symbol of a great media company, became a place where executives used sexual innuendo and profane invective.

In recent years, The Los Angeles Times has become a flashpoint for disagreement between Tribune Publishing and its California newspapers.

Austin Beutner, The Times’ publisher, was ousted last fall after only a year in the position because company executives viewed his ambitious plan to dominate California journalism as defiant and a threat to their centralized strategy.

The newsroom has been reduced by job cuts.

In a further sign of discontent between Tribune Publishing and its California newspapers — in addition to The Los Angeles Times, the company also owns The San Diego Union-Tribune — the two entities have sparred over financial projections....


RelatedTribune calls suitor Gannett ‘erratic,’ but talks continue

Also seeNewspaper criticized for using name of historic black weekly

Time to look at the local:

"The Berkshire Eagle sold to local group" by Katheleen Conti Globe Staff  April 21, 2016

The Berkshire Eagle, the small Pittsfield daily newspaper that covers a big swath of Western Massachusetts, said Thursday it is being sold to a group of local businessmen after being owned for more than 20 years by national chain Digital First Media.

Retired Pittsfield District Court judge Fredric D. Rutberg said he formed a company, Birdland Acquisition LLC, in December to purchase the newspapers. Rutberg said the group is committed to expanding local news coverage and plans on adding people to the newsroom and bringing back jobs that were outsourced by Digital First Media. All four properties have about 200 full-time employees, including about 40 newsroom staff.

The sale is the latest of several recent transactions by Digital First Media, which declined to comment. On Wednesday the company said it had agreed to sell the Salt Lake City Tribune to local investor Paul Huntsman, the son of businessman and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman Sr.

Is it any wonder I call it the pre$$?

Digital First Media is controlled by New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

Why not?

While the pending sale of New England Newspapers to a group of wealthy individuals mirrors similar sales like that of the Washington Post to chief executive Jeff Bezos and The Boston Globe to Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry, it does not mean that the big chains are bowing out of the game, said Martin Nisenholtz, professor of digital communication at Boston University.

“The activity is happening because print revenue has fallen much faster than digital revenue has been able to take its place, so it has caused a very serious dislocation in the industry, including the idea that civic-minded, wealthy individuals who care about journalism want to see it protected,” Nisenholtz said.

It's more about pushing an agenda these days, and always has been from $uch $ources.

Pittsfield Mayor Linda M. Tyer welcomed the news of the sale. “For a county such as ours, local news matters,” Tyer said in an e-mail....