Friday, August 13, 2010

No new newspaper news under the sun

OK, this is about newspapers but when was it written?
"... the market has become even more intensely competitive in response to a number of coinciding factors: economic recession, with its severe impact on advertising revenue; a shrinking market also caused by recession, plus the apparent loss of the newspaper-reading habit among younger people ...the sudden and exponential growth in other, more interactive forms of electronic communication ..."
Not today, not yesterday, not last year, not even this century.

Give up?

Meryl Aldridge wrote it in her paper The tentative hell-raisers: identity and mythology in contemporary UK press journalism, published in Media, Culture & Society, Volume 20, number 1, January 1998.

To look at it another way, if it appeared in an academic journal the basic research/facts were probably known two years (or more) before publication, so the UK newspaper industry has had at least 14 years to sort out its digital strategy and address declining circulation in a meaningful way.

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No new magazine ideas under the sun

Here's a description of a popular magazine that summarises material that has appeared in other publications: "A paradigm of compilation, classification, and sub-editing ..."

Can you guess what it is yet? Sounds like The Week, doesn't it, but the magazine referred to here is the Review of Reviews, founded in 1890 and surviving until 1936.

According to Laurel Brake, whose work Subjugated Knowledges (1994) I quote from, the Review of Reviews was also "notably oriented to the needs of the new profession of journalism and the exigencies of the methods of production for which rapid reference is essential." In other words, it was the Wikipedia of its day.

The founding editor was WT Stead, one of the founding fathers of the Victorian version of New Journalism and also one of the many to lose his life on the Titanic.

William Thomas SteadImage via Wikipedia

And here is the source of my headline concept:
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." Ecclesiastes, 1:9

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