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LATimes ed finally states the obvious — the end is near

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Big Media’s pact with Wall Street to maintain “unsustainably high profit” is driving readers away from newspapers.

That’s the message from John Carroll, who steps down as editor of the Los Angeles Times next month, in CJRDaily.

Carroll has led the LATimes to 13 Pulitzer prizes since 2000. In CJRDaily’s “Water Cooler” feature, Carroll tells interviewer Paul McCleary, about the Times’ loss of circulation over the past few years. He cites a number of reasons, but adds this:

Can corporations that are not family-controlled produce excellent newspapers? The returns aren’t in, but it’s not looking good. Newspaper-owning corporations — and I mean all of them, not just my own employer — have an unwritten pact with Wall Street that requires unsustainably high profit levels. Each year, newspapers shed reporters, editors, photographers, designers and newshole. Each year, readers get less. Each year many of those readers turn elsewhere for their news. Professor Phil Meyer has plotted our oblivion, which, as I recall, comes in less than two generations. As I say, we are on an unsustainable course. The old family-owned papers had their flaws, but at least the owners tried to preserve them for their children and grandchildren.

Carroll’s reign is over, so he can speak freely. I wish more editors would face up to this — publicly.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 22, 2005 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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