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Downturn in the newspaper biz

Posted at 10:29 AM on December 12, 2006 by Melanie Sommer

You may not have taken much notice of a rally Monday afternoon, to protest the loss of more than 100 jobs at a Twin Cities employer over the past year. It took place outside the offices of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which recently announced the departure of 65 news employees, on top of a few dozen others who were cut several months ago.

The headline on our story sums up the reaction: Who weeps for journalists? Journalists. A colleague made the observation that most industries facing ongoing financial troubles get more attention than the newspaper business. Perhaps it's because the media are not regarded very highly among the general public. Perhaps it's because you still get a paper delivered to your doorstep each morning... albeit a skinnier one.

As a member of the "new media," I'm conflicted about what's happening to my brothers and sisters in the print media.... some might consider me part of the problem. Newspapers just don't generate as much ad revenue as they used to, because of the influence of the Internet. But it's also apparent that newspapers who understand how the Web can fit into their mission have a far better chance of surviving and thriving.

Here's hoping that will happen at the PiPress, as its new owner prepares to take over.