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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Good riddance

The death of the print media in America. It's pretty astonishing, but having grown up reading the Star Tribune, aka "the Red Star", it's good to see them collapsing in such a dramatic manner. At this rate, many of them should be gone altogether by 2023.

And it is a very healthy sign, I think, for a one-way monopolistic medium to be replaced by a two-way medium with literally thousands of options. I expect the conventional publishing world to follow suit in reasonably short order once Barnes & Noble goes out of business.

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53 Comments:

Blogger Robert What? May 27, 2015 5:51 AM  

Really unfortunate though. But I guess it is to be expected when they decided to stop being an independent press and start being the unofficial propaganda organs of the left wing of the Democrat Party.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit May 27, 2015 5:53 AM  

The big media conglomerates will buy them up and keep 'em around as loss leaders. The internet is great for stirring up controversy and outrage du jour but the true pseudo intellectual needs to sit and read in detail about why he's right to believe the headlines while he takes a dump. The papers fulfill that role.

Anonymous Giuseppe May 27, 2015 6:19 AM  

@shut up rabbit,
Increasingly, people dump with their smartphobes. And are less relaxed during the experience.

Blogger SciVo May 27, 2015 6:38 AM  

@Giuseppe:
IIRC, about 1/6 of iPhones have their lives ended by being dropped in a toilet. FWIW.

Blogger Cail Corishev May 27, 2015 7:00 AM  

One of the disappointing stories of the last two decades is how much the print and screen media have been able to transfer their hegemony online. Many people who used to get all their information from leftist-approved sources like CBS and the New York Times now get it from leftist-approved sources like CBS.com, nytimes.com, and Wikipedia. If you go to an ostensibly "open" site like Twitter, without specifically seeking out dissenters, you'll get the same left-leaning opinions and instruction about what's important that you used to get from newspapers.

There are cracks, though. No matter how much they try to ghettoize dissenting sites and writers, people can stumble over them, which couldn't happen with old media. So it will eventually have the effect many of us expected, of breaking the power of the gatekeepers of correct opinion, just more slowly than we'd hoped.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 27, 2015 7:02 AM  

Another example how blacks are killing liberalism, the Chicago Trib bastion of we libs hate our readers kept censoring the comments and finally not allowing them at all on any thread more serious than a cat video all because they would not even mention who it is in Chicago that is the source of crime. Trib is a running joke because of this as is the NYTs with David Brooks commentary about free migration to the Anglo-Saxon countries while his son serves in the IDF.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit May 27, 2015 7:03 AM  

I have become Luddite; ignorer of technology!

Blogger HickoryHammer #0211 May 27, 2015 7:23 AM  

I wonder how much brainwashing the SJWs would have been able to accomplish if their fleet of strike vessels hadn't been sunk by technology.

Blogger IM2L844 May 27, 2015 7:24 AM  

I expect the conventional publishing world to follow suit in reasonably short order once Barnes & Noble goes out of business.


They're already repositioning and preparing a defensive strategy.

Anonymous Fran May 27, 2015 7:28 AM  

I wonder if a startup newspaper could happen. One that was actually objective in it's reporting. Could that actually save the industry or is the internet too much competition.

Blogger JohnR219 May 27, 2015 7:39 AM  

@Robert What?: Newspapers have never been independent. They started out as propaganda organs. Towns would have 2 newspapers. One Democrat and one Republican.

You read the papaper that most reflected your views. The Chicago Tribune used to be a Republican paper when McCormick ran it.

Blogger Steveo #238 May 27, 2015 7:40 AM  

Since the press no longer seeks to produce the truth and report it so that adults can make adult decisions based on the truth... they ended themselves; rightly dying of starvation in yet another socialist experiment. Market wins every time.

Damn those people voting with their dollars, only thing to do is take them and make them 100% hostage to the socialist construct! When that doesn't work, ratchet it up to the fascist & communist settings. Funny thing; they just don't get it, bullets are dollars too.

Blogger Steveo #238 May 27, 2015 7:42 AM  

Since the press no longer seeks to produce the truth and report it so that adults can make adult decisions based on the truth... they ended themselves; rightly dying of starvation in yet another socialist experiment. Market wins every time.

Damn those people voting with their dollars, only thing to do is take them and make them 100% hostage to the socialist construct! When that doesn't work, ratchet it up to the fascist & communist settings. Funny thing; they just don't get it, bullets are dollars too.

Anonymous Peter Garstig May 27, 2015 7:42 AM  

In Switzerland, the most read daily papers are already offered for free. They are still owned by the 2 biggest publishing houses of the country. But the quality of the content perfectly reflects the price.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 27, 2015 7:50 AM  

Once they get tagged as propaganda outlets where we actually use the word "propaganda" their collapse will be fatal. As of now they limp about on a slim bit of built up credibility especially since conservatives generally play along

Blogger Elocutioner0226 May 27, 2015 7:51 AM  

"But I guess it is to be expected when they decided to stop being an independent press and start being the unofficial propaganda organs of the left wing of the Democrat Party."

That was a pose. As I understand it, a century ago papers didn't try to hide their biases, but the propagandists found it to be useful to present themselves as a neutral third party with a thin veneer of objectivity. Some journalists do try to be objective, but we've always had Walter Durantys and Dan Rathers at the top. And it worked very well for them for a long time, too. The left captured the large print and broadcast and largely controlled the narrative for the last century. Slowly people are coming around to how big of a con it was. Once you see it and have a mindset shift you're not going to fall for the next lie so easily. Which is all the left has, which is why any principled pushback freaks them out.

Blogger Josh May 27, 2015 8:04 AM  

I wonder if a startup newspaper could happen. One that was actually objective in it's reporting. Could that actually save the industry or is the internet too much competition.

Would you like to invest in a buggy whip factory?

Blogger Tank May 27, 2015 8:14 AM  

As a dinosaur, I still enjoy reading my local (northern NJ) paper. Even though it's reliably left wing, with a reliably left wing slant to even "hard" news, the local news is good, the sports pages are good, and the Arts and Entertainment section is good. And it's well written. I actually know a couple of the writers there who are all very nice people, just clueless. In their daily lives, like most of the liberals living in northern NJ, they live a pretty conservative lifestyle. Work hard, buy a house, raise kids, etc. But on the political end, it's clueless.

Blogger VFM 188* May 27, 2015 8:24 AM  

Yes, the Internet is replacing newspapers everywhere. But that brings its own worry: Leviathan has a kill-switch. What then?

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey May 27, 2015 8:27 AM  

Small, independent printing presses, as in the old days.

Blogger epobirs May 27, 2015 8:33 AM  

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pennysaver-20150526-story.html
Major SoCal print advertiser abruptly shuts down.
San Diego Union Tribune dumps 178 print operation workers.

Blogger t.c. May 27, 2015 8:34 AM  

I still get a little sad over the thought of no more brick and mortar bookstores. I understand the freedom that independent online publishing has allowed, but I think the experience for young kids browsing through the bookstores and seeing them physically in front of them is important. And, yes, despite what many say, the B&N I work at is constantly full of kids buying new books.

Blogger James Dixon May 27, 2015 8:35 AM  

> I wonder if a startup newspaper could happen. One that was actually objective in it's reporting.

I'd like to think so, but:

a) There;s no such thing as completely objective.
b) All the universities are producing from their journalism schools are SJW's.
c) It's probably too late. They'd at least have to offer a free synopsis version online with a loss leader full online version as well as their print version.

Blogger James Dixon May 27, 2015 8:39 AM  

> Leviathan has a kill-switch. What then?

Solutions are being developed. Give it time.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus May 27, 2015 9:20 AM  

I shed a tear when I saw this.

A tear of joy.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus May 27, 2015 9:30 AM  

I still get a little sad over the thought of no more brick and mortar bookstores.

Even though I am a dead tree only guy, I am not really sad about the demise of the bricks-and-sticks bookstores like Barnes and Noble. In many ways, they've essentially evolved into the bookstore versions of the MSM, with all of the gatekeeping and censorship that goes with that.

They're harder to find, but if you're really wanting dead tree books, searching your area's thrift shops and second hand bookstores would be a worthwhile endeavour. In my area (the Chapel Hill NC area) there is a great used book store that is a literal warehouse full of 30K+ books of every type. Normal price is $0.99 per book. One weekend a month, the price drops to $0.25 a book. Between this and the thrift shops, I have built up a very nice 1250+ volume library of philosophy, classics, theology, history, science writing, etc. etc.

I can count on my 21 appendages the number of books on my shelves (aside from college textbooks that I kept) that were purchased at a "real" bookstore.

Blogger automatth0x3ew May 27, 2015 9:30 AM  

"Would you like to invest in a buggy whip factory?"

In Victoria? Why, yes.

Anonymous Rolf May 27, 2015 9:32 AM  

Tank - it's that lack of self-awareness (not connecting their own actions with what works versus their politics that clearly don't work, not seeing how the bigger picture they want to shape must be predicated on a culture of individual freedom and personal responsibility, not coercion and bureaucracy) that will sink them.

Blogger bob k. mando May 27, 2015 9:41 AM  

Fran May 27, 2015 7:28 AM
I wonder if a startup newspaper could happen. One that was actually objective in it's reporting. Could that actually save the industry or is the internet too much competition.



you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what purpose newspapers fulfill(ed).

1 - they were originally gossip rags and political advocacy mouthpieces ( historians reconstruct the actual text of debates from the 1800s by going to the paper which was against a speaker and quoting him from that ... they were prone to 'improving' the words and arguments of the speaker for their side, so are generally not trustworthy to accurately report the argument of the speaker on their side of the debate. it's not terribly unusual to still find small town rags with 'Democrat' or 'Republican' in title )

2 - the real money maker, advert sales

gossip is now handled, for free, by the internet.

advertising has gone to more effective modes such as TV, radio, billboards ... and that darn internet again.

in order to support the whole print / distribution apparatus ( which is what sets newspapers apart from a regular website ), you'd have to create a new monetization scheme. because, if you just create a web page, you're competing against free sources such as Drudge.

while possible, i don't consider this likely.

Blogger stevo May 27, 2015 9:53 AM  

21 appendages- Titus you rascal

Anonymous Mike M. (#315) May 27, 2015 10:00 AM  

But what am I supposed to use for a bird cage liner if the Washington Pack-of-Lies (aka Post) goes under?

Blogger JartStar May 27, 2015 10:10 AM  

The newspapers saw this coming and spent millions trying to figure out how to survive, and tried various ideas. It didn't help in the end.

Blogger CarpeOro May 27, 2015 10:17 AM  

Worth that much still? Must be real-estate and scrap metal values for the print machines. #105

Blogger luagha May 27, 2015 10:44 AM  

If they stop printing newspapers, what will I do for snake bedding?

Anonymous N5 May 27, 2015 10:48 AM  

Yep, the $21.1m listed for the chicago Sun Times is for the value of the downtown real estate, essentially. I delivered both the Star and the Sun Times as a lad. Always enjoyed reading them as I folded them. Can't abide them now.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 27, 2015 10:53 AM  

No wonder leftists hate markets. Talk about buying high and selling low.

Blogger Chris Scena May 27, 2015 10:55 AM  

"Would you like to invest in a buggy whip factory?"

Josh wins the internet today.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 27, 2015 10:57 AM  

The big media conglomerates will buy them up and keep 'em around as loss leaders.
Naw. The CIA's work to keep the befuddled masses brainwashed will occur through Tee Vee, especially as the masses continue their decline into illiteracy.

Anonymous BGS May 27, 2015 11:09 AM  

One of the big things the internet has that you can find no where in print is conservative cartoons. The GOP briefing room: Pookie's Toons has daily cartoons you would never see printed in a paper. In many ways cartoons are a good way to ridicule the left such as when global warming research ships get stuck in summer ice.

Anonymous Peggy May 27, 2015 11:22 AM  

The Strib has gotten so desperate that they are delivering six weeks of Sunday papers free to attract new customers, and this seems to be over a wide area because we received them both before and after we moved across the metro. They also have gotten much better at disguising their contempt for nonliberals.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 27, 2015 11:27 AM  

gossip is now handled, for free, by the internet.

advertising has gone to more effective modes such as TV, radio, billboards ... and that darn internet again.


The only place where I could see something working is at the neighborhood level and small town level. The classifieds have moved online to craigslist, but local pizza parlors, auto mechanics and chiropractors and the like really scramble to find ways to advertise. Facebook as taken that role in my small town, but even that is fractured. (There are about 7k people in town. We have at least 4 FB community discussion groups, two business announcement groups, and three trading posts, all because the various admins - mostly bored housewifes - end up squabbling with each other and banning people with a frequency that would make a SJW blogger proud).

Blogger JDC May 27, 2015 11:42 AM  

If they stop printing newspapers, what will I do for snake bedding?

Old hymnals and Harlequin paperbacks.

Blogger RC May 27, 2015 11:50 AM  

Their demise should decrease mankind's carbon footprint. That's a bonus, right?

Blogger hank.jim May 27, 2015 12:47 PM  

Newspapers used to be started up by rich people. Now they open tech companies.

Blogger Crowhill May 27, 2015 1:11 PM  

We needed "national newspapers" in every major city back when news had to be printed and delivered by truck. That's obviously not true any more, so there will necessarily be a reduction (a severe reduction) in the number of national news sources. I figure it might level out at 4 or 5.

Local news is another matter. That's where the growth is in the newspaper business.

Blogger J Van Stry May 27, 2015 1:45 PM  

I do not think B&N will go out of business. And if it looks like they might, I suspect Amazon will float them a loan, not unlike the way MS floated Apple one, for the very same reasons: Amazon doesn't want to be regulated by the US Government because they have decided it is a monopoly.

And you know that they are itching to do it.

Blogger Doom May 27, 2015 2:01 PM  

Yeah. I have thought about those things, and mag's going for a dollar. Either some accountants and economic advisers are absolute idiots, or the buying factors see the write-off potential. Well, and there is a lot of squirrel room in there. For example, .gov wants it's propaganda arms strong enough to tip and push things now and again, .corp wants to be able to lay out it's side (lies) of things (to sell, sell, sell), so beside the tax right-off from losses, there is an insider gig in there, to curry favor with .gov and .corp that might be the diamond in the rough... at least until they hit the bridge over troubled waters too hard and decide fuck it, they aren't their brothers. Or just go belly up because the plan to buy the paper was as good as it got for their economic goals. Bleh.

A pox on all their houses. May they continue to eat glass until they Elvis.

Anonymous Johann Gutenberg May 27, 2015 6:39 PM  

“So it will eventually have the effect many of us expected, of breaking the power of the gatekeepers of correct opinion, just more slowly than we'd hoped.”

So, from one gatekeeper to another gatekeeper. Some things just stay the same, it’s the name that changes.


“Since the press no longer seeks to produce the truth and report it so that adults can make adult decisions based on the truth... “

What version of the truth do you seek?


“they ended themselves; rightly dying of starvation in yet another socialist experiment. Market wins every time.”

It’s not the market of ideas, it’s the market of technology.


“Once they get tagged as propaganda outlets where we actually use the word "propaganda" their collapse will be fatal.”

Propaganda is everywhere, my friend. This blog site. SJW publishers. doubt that yelling and pointing “propaganda” to every single media outlet and source will make any significant difference.


“Small, independent printing presses, as in the old days.”

Which were observably propaganda machines.

Blogger VFM 188* May 27, 2015 8:53 PM  

There are no "versions" of the truth. There is only one "truth." That is, "A is A". The fact that information may be limited or difficult to understand or obscure...or that description is shaded by withheld facts or lies...or that there are differing interpretations of any given set of facts...none of these mean there is more than one "truth".

Remember: One of the main weapons of SJW's in all their forms and incarnations is always been that "there's no real truth, only differing narratives based upon power relationships." It is part of how they always lie. Recall also that Western Civilization is based not only upon respect for truth, but also the belief that the truth may be ascertained...and that we should dedicate ourselves to seeking and understanding it.

Blogger Eric May 27, 2015 9:21 PM  

What I can't understand is why anyone would pay anything for these properties as a business proposition. I can understand why you'd wan to buy a buggy whip company if it has positive cash flow, but is that true for newspapers?

Even the brands are depreciating. These guys are gonna follow the weekly news magazines into the abyss when they run out of money to do original reporting.

Anonymous Johann Gutenberg May 29, 2015 6:45 PM  

“There are no "versions" of the truth. There is only one "truth." That is, "A is A”.

No. One can interpret a set of facts and declare it as Truth A, and another can interpret that same set of fact and declare it as Truth B.


“Recall also that Western Civilization is based not only upon respect for truth, but also the belief that the truth may be ascertained...and that we should dedicate ourselves to seeking and understanding it.”

Those not part of Western Civilization also developed societies based upon respect for truth, and a belief how truth may be ascertained. Is not their truth a different version?

Blogger VFM 188* May 31, 2015 2:32 PM  

Le me put it a different way: If "truth" is "reality," then there can be only one "truth." That is, "truth" is what remains even after you stop believing in it. Our disagreement may be based upon terminology. "Truth" is analogous to "reality," and there is only one "reality". You can *perceive" reality in different ways, but perception doesn't modify reality. If that's not true, then science "not". Ditto for "A is A".

Anonymous Johann Gutenberg May 31, 2015 11:23 PM  

"Truth is analogous to "reality", and there is only one "reality"."

There is your reality based on your truth, and there is my reality based on my truth. We interpret the information from our perceptions, which drives our truths. When it comes to religion, one's reality is one's faith in God. Truth is derived from that faith. If you are of a different faith, you have a different reality based on your faith, which means your truth is completely different than my truth. There is no true faith for everyone, but their is faith that is true in reality for oneself.

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