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A Sisyphean Task: On The Myth of the Death of Newspapers

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Cover of Greatly ExaggeratedThings that are easier to do than bursting The Myth of the Death of Newspapers include convincing people there’s a brewery in City Hall, affording a house in Vancouver, and winning the Stanley Cup. But that’s exactly what Marc Edge attempts to do, as well as sketch a history of newspapers and their owners’ recent efforts at “financialization,” in the heavily researched and highly readable Greatly Exaggerated: The Myth of the Death of Newspapers. And he’s making some headway:

An early review from Charlie Smith at the Georgia Straight called it “thoroughly researched,” “provocative,” and “entertaining,” and said “For anyone concerned about where [the concentration of media ownership] might lead, Greatly Exaggerated offers a useful road map.” (Full review here.)

Marc made a few media appearances, including a TV spot on BC 1 that, somewhat implausibly, isn’t online (did it really happen?); an interview with Joseph Planta at The Commentary; a call-in segment on CBC Radio Vancouver (auto-playing audio link here); and an interview with World News Publishing Focus.

Scott R. Maier picked up the story via Marc’s academic paper based on the same research (“Newspapers’ Annual Reports Show Chains Profitable,” in Newspaper Research Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4), and ran with it at the European Journalism Observatory (always so much more enlightened, those Europeans…).

And finally, Rick Edmonds came away from the annual Newspaper Association of America’s MediaXchange conference with the belief, partially inspired by Marc’s study, that although the industry has “a lot of work to do,” it’s “not anywhere near dead as doomsayers had predicted five years ago”: At Naa’s Nashville extravaganza, tough issues surface through the glitz | Poynter.org.

So at least some wonks seem cautiously heretical. You can flirt with these blasphemous ideas in print, or buy the ebook, or use the print book to get a free ebook via the BitLit mobile app. (Irony duly noted.)