Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
This is what it’s like to be a media company’s first-ever online safety editor
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 19, 2013, 9:41 a.m.
LINK: ebyline.biz  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   March 19, 2013

What is it about Warren Buffett that makes people want to reverse-engineer his financial formulas? (Probably the billions of dollars. We are all Buffettologists now.) Peter Beller and Sarah Erickson at Ebyline have an interesting piece where they try to figure out the common threads behind Warren Buffett’s recent newspaper-buying binge:

Here’s how to tell if your local newspaper will survive the internet apocalypse:

  • Does it have a circulation of 30,000 or less?
  • Is it in a town with a population of less than 75,000?
  • Does paid weekday circulation top 25% of the total population?
  • Does it have a ratio of online readers to print subscribers of less than 5?

If you answered “Yes” to all these questions you can sleep soundly knowing that, even if your newspaper hasn’t already been purchased by the second-richest man in America, it has a fighting chance. Here’s why.

The authors argue “it’s better to be ubiquitous in Opelika than expendable in New York City,” which matches up well with the longstanding trend toward the worst newspaper performance happening at the major metro level, with community and small-town papers generally holding up better. (Also note that with the recent closure of the Boston Phoenix, its sister papers in Providence and Portland will survive, despite/because of their smaller size.)

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
This is what it’s like to be a media company’s first-ever online safety editor
“What’s really struck me is the variety of issues I’ve seen reported in recent weeks. Not one of them has been the same.”
Fact-checking may be important, but it won’t help Americans learn to disagree better
“The more that a study looked like the real world, the less fact-checking changed participants’ minds.”
Can U.S. journalism truly serve global audiences? Not if it treats them like an afterthought
What would a truly global media company look like?