The pace of deterioration in the periodical/newspaper publishing industries has not been as robust as I would have predicted six years ago when I left the Wichita Falls Times Record News.
But, then, I was pretty depressed back then.
My state of mind isn't much better as I think about the future of print journalism. The pace is slow, but the results seem inevitable.
Just recently, college students were asked the worst fields out there in career-land, and they chose "newspaper reporter."
That doesn't sound like they are rushing to join up.
And within the last week or so, the first-quarter financials have been issued by The New York Times Co. and The Washington Post Co. Both have suffered severe declilnes in profits generated from advertising revenue, which is where newspapers make their money. The declines were quarter to quarter, and no publication that I'm aware of has charted the steady decline in revenue from advertising since 2007. It would present a bleak picture.
One upbeat note: In the first quarter, 27 magazines were launched and only nine closed. But, more magazines were launched in the same period in 2012.
I notice that the Austin American-Statesman has relaunched a website, and they are plugging the heck out of it. My guess is that they are hedging their bets as fast as they can.
I haven't seen the new site. I'm a 7-day subscriber to the print edition, and will be loyal to print until the bitter end -- the end of me or the end of it, whichever.
I wish them well. They seem to me to be the only true watchdog over a state government run by appointed and elected people who are bent on plundering Texas for their own benefit.