Monday, October 26, 2009

Good news for newspaper journalism

The small type in the Newspaper Project public-service ad above may not be legible in digital format (a tiny victory for print?), but it says, "In these complicated times, life seems to come at us like a game of hardball: full of fast pitches and plenty of curveballs. That's why more than 100 million Americans rely on their local newspapers and newspaper websites to stay on top of their game. So take advantage of everything newspapers have to offer, like top-quality journalism you can trust. For readers and advertisers, newspapers are a guaranteed home run."

The ad alludes to baseball, now one of the good-news stories of the week, as the World Series between the Yankees and Phillies gets underway.

Another bit of good news comes from the newspaper industry itself. Buried in pack-journalism stories about "beleaguered" major-metro dailies owned by corporate chains are successes of mid-sized market dailies and other publications from weeklies to small-market dailies.

Even the Big Guys shows gains, however. Gannett, publishers of dozens of papers including USA Today, reported a net income of $73.8 million in the third quarter, when the McClatchy Co., another chain whose holdings include the Minneapolis star-Tribune reported a third-quarter net income of $23.6 million.

Those are profits, doomsayers, despite the Great Recession.