Saturday, March 6, 2010


If you want to see the true visual representation of print journalism’s desperation, stare at this picture for a moment. This is the actual front page of the Los Angeles Times, Friday, March 5, 2010. The newspaper that has published since 1881 and won 39 Pulitzer Prizes, has fallen victim to the international decline of the newspaper industry. Now that digital media has taken the fast track to gain the hearts and eyes of consumers, newspapers are doing what they can simply to survive. You are looking at the L.A. Times struggling to survive. The newspaper devoted its entire front page to a paid advertisement for the new Johnny Depp film, “Alice in Wonderland.” The news coverage that you see surrounding the picture is fake. The real page one of Friday’s Times is on the inside. The Times reportedly sold the space to Disney for a whopping $700,000 in badly needed revenue for the paper. The Times has radically reduced its staff in recent years, offered buyouts to many employees, and seen The Tribune Company, its corporate owner, file for bankruptcy. You are looking at the unfortunate result of a major cultural shift in the world of journalism. So, what is to become of the Times? Conventional wisdom says it will probably keep experimenting until it settles into its new identity. As Alice says in “Alice in Wonderland,” “…at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

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