Wednesday, May 22, 2019

NYTimes Editor: Local Newspapers Are Doomed

New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet predicted that most local news outlets will die in the near future — if they are not saved by a local billionaire, that is.

Mediaite reports Baquet made the prediction while speaking before the INMA World Congress of News Media.  He expressed a fear that local newspapers are at a high risk of disappearing from the media ecosystem amid the rise of new media.

“The greatest crisis in American journalism is the death of local news,” Baquet said. “I don’t know what the answer is. Their economic model is gone. I think most local newspapers in America are going to die in the next five years, except for the ones that have been bought by a local billionaire.”

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I think that everybody who cares about news — myself included, and all of you — should take this on as an issue,” he added. “Because we’re going to wake up one day and there are going to be entire states with no journalism or with little tiny pockets of journalism.”

The Times editor also noted he isn’t “worried about Los Angeles and New York,” but is concerned about what “the model is for covering the school boards in Newark, New Jersey. That makes me nervous.”

According to a recent analysis from the Associated Press via data from the University of North Carolina, over the 15 years, 1,400 towns and cities across America have lost a local news outlet. Additionally, the Pew Research Center found newspaper circulation has steadily dropped for the past 30 years and ad revenues generated by outlets tanked dramatically in 2006 and continue to decline.

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