If past is precedent, especially among recent mergers in the constricting print media market, which continues to reel, the transaction may be less about good journalism and more about better bottom lines.
Proponents of the merger like to talk about the “efficiencies of consolidation” and “synergies” that can be brought to bear for the benefit of the consumer (and shareholders, of course). The former print reporter in me remains skeptical.
As much as good journalism is akin to a public service, media is a business. Changes need to be made to survive and thrive. And there have been some significant changes that have advanced the delivery of news.
Newspapers have adapted to become multi-media platforms, although monetizing digital ads over print remains a challenge. There has been an explosion of shared coverage of the state Capitol, with several news organizations coordinating investigative journalism, a trend we highlighted in this February blog post. Nonprofits have stepped up to underwrite media ventures.
The news is always about what’s fresh, and the news business is something that continues to evolve. What happens next is anyone’s guess. But we all have a shared interest in making sure someone is around to report what happens.
Kurt Knaus is Managing Director of Ceisler Media's Harrisburg office.