Did The News Media Sell Their Souls For $100s of Millions in Political Ads?

The publishing industry has certainly seen better days, especially the newspaper sector. It seems as if the newspaper industry did get a reprieve during the 2008 elections, as the amount of political ads and dollars coming into advertising help stave off the potentially eventuality of their demise. Many high-tech corporate leaders in the information age have said that eventually the newspapers will be dead, and although no one knows when that date might be, the online venues have certainly taken their toll.The concept of pay walls has worked for some of the leading newspapers, but it certainly isn’t working for everyone. The advent of mobile devices increases the number of potential advertising imprintations digitally, but those ads sell for quite a bit less. Is this along with the pay walls enough to keep the newspaper publishing industry in business? Is print really dead, or dying on the vine you ask?Well, I have some thoughts on all of this after watching the 2012 general elections in the United States. It seems that although the newspaper sector did provide lots of political ads, they also followed up with editorial content often promoting a certain candidate on one side of the political spectrum over another. This makes sense because if one political side is advertising huge amounts of dollars, it behooves that publication to say nice things about them in the news articles.Unfortunately in doing so and being partisan it has caused people to lack the credibility of the news media. So whereas they made hundreds of millions of dollars, they also were busy trashing their credibility.There is a decent research paper you might like to read on this topic of media street credibility worthy of mention; “The Credibility of Newspapers, Television News, and Online News,” by Rasha A. Abdulla, Bruce Garrison, Michael Salwen, Paul Driscoll, and Denise Casey. This paper took a survey in 2002 of various adult media consumers based on their perception of credibility of the news. One has to ask a decade later if things are better or worse today – I’d have to say much worse.There is an old saying that goes something like this; you can believe none of what you hear, half of what you read, and most of what you see. Today the average consumer believes the credibility of their printed newspaper to be about 28%, and that would be well under; half of what they read, in that case. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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