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Indie press risk extinction, and not only in the US

17 4 1
31.03.2020

Analysis. The violent contraction will only accelerate (if that’s the right word for “push off a cliff”) the decline in advertising revenue going to newspapers.

written by Luca Celada

LOS ANGELES

March 31, 2020

While there is a surge in traffic on news sites and the digital editions of newspapers are being obsessively refreshed by an audience of unwilling keyboard jockeys under house arrest, in the crisis that is only beginning, many of the newspapers that have somehow managed to survive during the last few years are teetering on the edge of collapse.

Even with the increase in online users, with the coming economic collapse we are also facing the prospect of a collapse in the ad revenues on which newspapers depend, especially in the free market regime that reigns in the United States. Among the sectors being wiped out by the pandemic we find tourism, hospitality, restaurants, sports, music, events and shows, etc. The violent contraction will only accelerate (if that’s the right word for “push off a cliff”) the decline in advertising revenue going to newspapers.

The closures of local and independent newspapers are already coming at a worrying pace, with editorial offices that had already been decimated and budgets slashed by the advertising void created by the social giants. A report published by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard focuses on the “alternative weeklies” that are still being printed in many American cities. Its title begins by the telling........

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