Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cutting Off Your News to Spite Your Facts

It seems as if the next lawsuit for Wendy McCaw will be the University of Missouri-Columbia*. A Reuters summary of what will be sure to bring a new screed rising from the poison pen of Travis Armstrong says:

U.S. newspapers that spend more money on their newsrooms will make more money, according to a study released on Wednesday, which questioned the wisdom of the media industry's trend of cutting jobs to save costs.

The school examined 10 years of financial data, but we all know they released the results now because they have direct connections to Susan Rose (who is no longer a county supervisor just so she has more time to bring down the News-Press). Clearly the article didn't examine what it means if you have to cut your news staff down to 2 because everyone else failed their loyalty test.

The article also offers the following:

"I am delighted to see them post proof that quality precedes profit," Philip Meyer, a professor at the University of North Carolina and author of the book The Vanishing Newspaper [editor's note: this is not the News-Press story, believe it or not], said of the study.

"I don't share the authors' confidence that the industry will appreciate the importance of their result and act on it," he added. "Too many owners are more interested in harvesting than investing."

The harvester on De La Guerra Plaza is certainly a Grim Reaper for journalists and a paper of record for Santa Barbara.

*It's the alma mater of one of the first people actually fired in the purges, and you know that's not a coincidence. Probably is a hotbed of Teamsters making phone calls about spreading nails or damaging trucks too.

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