Friday, November 14, 2008

Former USA Today exec Gary Hook on why he’s worried about journalism

I’m worried. Specifically I’m worried about what the seeming freefall the newspaper industry is in means long term for journalism, also known as good old fashioned reporting.

Hardly a week goes by that there isn’t some news about another negative in the industry, another projection for declining ad revenues, another report of lost circulation, another drop in the stock price of media companies.

And this frequently is followed by more announcements of layoffs and other expense cuts, which begs the question: how deep can you cut before hitting an artery and bleeding out?

The situation is not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty ugly. Commenting on the state of the industry recently, the CEO of a major news organization told me the situation has gone from “dire to survival.” There are media watchers who fully expect some metropolitan newspapers to go out of business.

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