Chart of the Day

If it’s good enough for Klein and Yglesias, it’s good enough for me:

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Quote of the day

Ezra:

The problem for Obama and the Democrats is that it’s hard to fight unrealistic policy with realistic policy. If you get under the hood of Ryan’s budget, the numbers simply don’t work.  [emphasis mine]

I swear, it really feels like the Democrats are negotiating with terrorists because terrorists control half the government.  No, I’m not calling Republicans terrorists, but there nihilism and willing to to long-range damage to the economic credibility of the US Government in pursuit of their policy goals means you basically have reasonable people (Democrats) forced to negotiate with unreasonable people (Tea Party-backed Republicans).

Decline of newspapers– it’s the revenue, stupid

Well, you all know I’m a sucker for the Post’s “5 myths” feature on Sundays.  Yesterday’s was about “the future of journalism.”  I found myth #1 especially notable:

1. The traditional news media are losing their audience.

Many predicted that the rise of the Internet and online publishing meant that mainstream media organizations would lose their readers and viewers, with technology breaking their oligarchic control over news. But that’s not the overall picture.

Yes, people are migrating online. In 2010, the Internet passed newspapers for the first time as the platform where Americans “regularly” get news, according to survey data from the Pew Research Center. Forty-six percent of adults say they go online for news at least three times a week, as opposed to 40 percent who read newspapers that often. Only local television news is a more popular destination, at 50 percent.

But online news consumers are heading primarily to traditional sources. Of the 25 most popular news Web sites in the United States, for instance, all but two are “legacy” media sources, such as the New York Times or CNN, or aggregators of traditional media, such as Yahoo or Google News. Of the roughly 200 news sites with the highest traffic, 81 percent are traditional media or aggregators of it. And some old media are seeing their overall audience — in print and on the Web — grow.

The crisis facing traditional media is about revenue, not audience. And in that crisis, newspapers have been hardest hit: Ad revenue for U.S. newspapers fell 48 percent from 2006 to 2010.

What’s killing newspapers is not a lack of readers, but Craigslist and other on-line classfied ads. That used to be a huge part of the revenue stream.  This is also a nice corrective to all those stories that like to talk about people getting their news on-line, instead of “traditional” sources.  What they are reading on-line, of course, is CNN.com or NYTimes.com or AP stories via Yahoo.  Obviously, the declining revenues are a huge problem with no easy solution, but the problem is certainly not a declining interest in news.

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