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Showing posts from August, 2014

Here’s why people won’t pay for news: No one does journalism anymore

I opened my Yahoo home page today and read the news headline “Outgunned Kurds Beg US for Weapons to Battle ISIS” and its lead paragraph.“Interesting,” I thought, so I clicked on the item, expecting an expanded story from a news agency. What I got was the Huffington Post. “OK, they are becoming a decent news source,” I reacted. So I began reading, only to realize they gave me two paragraphs before redirecting me to Newsmax for the entire story.  Newsmax is a news site established with the aid of politically conservative political figures and journalists. That doesn’t preclude them from reporting news accurately, but can influence their news choice, analysis and opinion. Nevertheless, I read the 14-paragraph story written by Drew MacKenzie. It was a sound story. However, it only paraphrased a story by Washington Post reporter Terrance McCoy, “The strongest military left in Iraq has not stopped the Islamic State.” So I decided to read the original Post story. When I got there I discovered t…

Loss of a competitive market is afflicting U.S. single-copy magazine distribution

Single-copy magazine distribution is undergoing a remarkably unheralded transformation and it has enormous implications for both publishers and consumers. Each year about 3 billion copies of magazines are distributed to 150,000 retail outlets within a large and complex distribution channel. This is extremely important to publishers because it produces about one quarter of circulation revenue and is used to promote subscription and introduce new titles. In simple terms, the system operates by publishers selling copies to wholesalers and wholesalers reselling the copies to retailers. However, retailers return unsold copies to wholesalers for a full refund and wholesalers return them to publishers for a similar refund. Because of the large number of titles, copies, and retailers involved, and the geographic scale of the country, publishers and retailers have sought to minimize their effort, create economies of scale, and reduce transaction costs.Publishers contract with national distributo…