You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

September, 2009

Begging the Government for Help

The Economist suggests newspapers could have sought government help to combat decline, an approach taken by other industries facing competition.
First off, it's hard to remember what the internet was like before everyone was speculating on what newspapers should do with themselves. Okay, now on to the actual point of this post, which is mostly an interesting quote from the economist. The post is a response to a response to a response to a New Yorker article by James Surowiecki where he argues that newspapers should have been more aggressive in recognizing what industry they're really in and adjusting their business/product accordingly (Surowiecki is the only one of these I have actually read). In case I haven't lost you yet, The Economist offers a different reading on alternate strategies for newspapers (and one I haven't actually heard before!):
Often, when an industry faces decline, management and ownership will opt to take door number three; rather than reinvesting profits in new businesses or redistributing them to shareholders, they'll direct them to legislators and lobbyists in an effort to buy themselves protection from competition. This has been the strategy used by agricultural and manufacturing interests, often, though not always, with success. I'm actually a little surprised that journalism has not been more aggressive or successful with appeals for government help.
While the author acknowledges it would be hard to squash the internet, it's an intriguing point. When other industries get in real trouble there's definitely a lot of going back to the government for help.
September 1, 2009
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.