Newspaper Dissatisfaction – The Numbers

“Where there is life, there is hope.”

According to a post by Jon Fine on, customer satisfaction for newspapers for the first quarter of 2009 was BELOW – yes, below! – the satisfaction level for airlines.  To add salt to the wound, satisfaction for newspapers was below that of cell phone providers, who notoriously take the gold in dissatisfaction.

It is interesting to read the comments to the post from those who postulate as to the causes for this.  Let me weigh in here…Let’s see, could it be that my  local paper is down to a half-page of business news?  (The stock quotes that fill up the bottom half of the page doesn’t count as news, guys.)  Could it be that the paper is down to a measly two sections, ostensibly to save money on paper and ink?  Could it be that their coverage of national and world news is woefully pitiful?  Or could it be that I still have half a bowl of cereal remaining when I finish the paper, leaving me wanting for more and finding the paper seriously lacking?

On a related topic, the Associated Press is quietly offering buyouts to its most senior staffers, which begs two questions:  what will happen to the quality of reporting that we rely on from the AP, and what will happen to the newspapers that count on the AP to fill their national and world pages?  I’m afraid the answer will not be good for either question.

What will the future hold for newspapers?  How can they make themselves relevant to advertisers and important to readers?  Everyone is in survival mode these days, so it is easy to understand the problems they are having at this moment in time.  But what about tomorrow?  What do you think it will take for newspapers to survive?

Hope is not a strategy.  It sure would be nice if newspapers had something more than hope.

~ by chuckmattina on May 20, 2009.

One Response to “Newspaper Dissatisfaction – The Numbers”

  1. Interesting related fact – Of the 25 highest-circulation newspapers in the United States, only The Wall Street Journal gained circ last year.

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