March 04, 2009
Thank You for Your Common Sense
Angela, your article in this week's WritersWeekly (What Recession?! Plenty of Freelance Jobs for Writers!) was so refreshing. I'm getting so sick and tired of hearing about how bad it is out there. For an administration that promised hope, there sure is plenty of fear mongering going on, and the media love it.
At any rate, it was very refreshing to see your positive spin on things. While I know some people have been hit hard by the economic downturn, I also see what you see as well: Crowed restaurants, lines in stores, etc.
Americans still have so much better than the rest of the world. We just may not be able to afford flat screen TVs for a while. Well, I'd rather be reading anyway.
Thanks again for such a much-needed perspective!
Hi Angela, I enjoyed your "What Recession?" piece this week and ironically, have used the "8 percent/92 percent" train of thought to try to bring a certain "doomer" back to earth.
However, I get a daily media news feed in which I've noticed a spectacular rise in the number of bankruptcy filings for major newspaper publishers. Just recently, a company that owns 22 papers in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio filed. Sounds like San Francisco might soon be without a paper if they can't find a buyer ... the publisher on the radio today said they're losing $50 million a year! I also saw the two Minneapolis papers got a grant to transition to potentially 100 percent online versions (I'm a newspaper man at heart, having first worked at one in 1981 and have been a full-time freelancer since '88, so this just bugs me to no end; I love the Internet, but there's nothing like sitting down with a newspaper, magazine or good book in hand).
One of the top accounts just this week said it had no money in the budget for the rest of the quarter and I'd have to take a month off, this after all full-time employees were given mandatory one-week furloughs (staggered) this year. Another account, a long-time Wisconsin outdoors magazine, ceased publishing with the latest issue.
Anyway, just thought you might want to get a take from a reader with 25+ years of experience in the magazine and newsprint arena (I've also edited two fishing websites, both of which the owners kept up little more than a year before getting out; so much competition in those fields and not enough advertising dollars to go around).
Print publications were in big trouble before the recession began because of the Internet and Cable TV. There are only so many advertising dollars to go around and, with the Internet (with an infinite number of websites to advertise on) and cable (hundreds of channels and thousands of programs to advertise on), traditional advertising-based industries are and have been struggling for quite sometime now and newspapers and magazines have been going out of business for the past few years.
The problem is the large newspapers and magazines still in existence can now no longer get loans to continue to float their ballooning debt.
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