Mark on March 12th, 2009

A few things we all really need to keep in mind. • The death of several newspapers does not equal the death of all newspapers. • Economies go in cycles, up and down. When they go down, newspapers suffer along with everyone else. • The crisis for big newspaper chains is much more related to […]

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Mark on January 27th, 2009

I no longer have a kneejerk, no-government-money-for-media stance. It doesn’t make much sense when you consider how much support newspapers in particular have received over the years: special mailing rates, lucrative government advertising (mandated by legislation), shared job-training programs, etc. But I’m still agin ’em at the moment. All of them, including the $30 million […]

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Mark on January 27th, 2009

Here’s what the Canadian federal budget says about the $30 million it will provide for newspapers and magazines over the next two years: Community Newspapers and Magazines Canadians continue to look to local magazines and publications to see reflections of themselves and their communities. Budget 2009 will continue this tradition by providing $30 million over […]

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Mark on January 11th, 2009

It’s always possible (although highly unlikely, I think) that online newspaper will be able to return to the walled garden and start charging for access to “their” information. It may even be possible that Google, Yahoo and the other aggregators and search folk will have to start ponying up something. Read the comments on any […]

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Mark on January 10th, 2009

Google CEO Eric Schmidt ruffled some media feathers last week when he spoke about the unfortunate situation newspapers are in, but said he doesn’t know what Google can do to help. This brought out the Google-owes-newspapers crowd in force, of course, but it also brought out some thoughtful commentators who offered some real ideas that […]

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Mark on January 8th, 2009

Expanding on yesterday evening’s post. I need to be clear that I am not arguing or expecting that newspapers instantly change. Right now, effort has to go into maintaining newspapers. The mass-media, value-for-everybody model — even if it is dying — needs to continue. Print still carries the water and newspapers need to be broadly-based […]

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Mark on December 19th, 2008

This is the first in what may become a series of short posts, where I attempt to pick out the most significant developments of 2008. There’s been a lot of rethinking of redesigning of newspaper websites in 2009, but my favourite development is’s The Big Picture. The Big Picture brings size to the online […]

Continue reading about 2008 greatest hits: Thinking big (updated)

Mark on December 16th, 2008

It was definitely a day for the business of newspapers to dominate the industry news, whether it was layoffs or forced reinvention in Detroit. A bit of a wrap-up. In Canada, Sun Media announced it’s laying off 600 people, although according to the Financial Post the number could wind up higher than that. has […]

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Mark on December 12th, 2008

Some current thoughts about newspapering, subject to revision, argument, snorts of derision, etc. What’s happening now is essentially the winding-down of the print edition. No one known how long this phase is going to last — whether it’s two years, five, 10 or more (unlikely) — either on an individual title or industry-wide basis. During […]

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Mark on December 10th, 2008

Regular readers will know of my interest (some might say obsession) with the stock market performance of Canadian publishing giant CanWest. Today it appears as though the stock as settled down considerably. I’m not going to say it appears to have bottomed out, though. I suggested that once before, when the stock was trading at […]

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