Once the internet was introduced in the mid 90’s, we still read a fair amount of newspapers nationwide. Internet was expensive upfront as is any new innovative product is in the introduction phase. I think we all remember the AOL CDs that accumulated in our mailboxes. My whole collection eventually filled up my bedroom wall as a mid-teen art project. My father still rues the day I decided to put those up using Elmer’s glue.
Newspapers go down
As the internet gained saturation in U.S. households, newspaper subscriptions started their sharp decline. As a paperboy during this time, I can attest to the loss of income. Luckily, I was old enough to work at a local grocery store where I worked as a bagger and a parking lot cart wrangler (best damn cart wrangler this side of the Mississippi I was told).
The revenue loss from this industry was catastrophic. Go and google “newspaper sales 2000-2020” and you’ll see how far it fell off. Such a drastic and quick fall off, that the layoffs that occurred were staggering. Newspapers were such a large revenue generator even for mid-sized cities. Advertising went down, classifieds were picked apart by Craigslist, subscriptions dropped, etc. Now we only see newspapers in gas stations and hamster cages.
Internet now the revenue generator that doesn’t compare
Now the business model revolves almost entirely around traffic volume rather than newspaper subscriptions. The revenue that comes in from digital advertising pales in comparison to selling newspapers at 50 cents apiece daily. There are some subscriptions on digital news platforms, but there are so many services that function off of monthly fees that there is a subscription fatigue in the country. So they rely primarily on changing their headlines every couple of hours to keep you coming back numerous times throughout the day.
I can’t remember the last time that any media company had a large hiring day. You hear of a new factory that will be employing 300 people in a state somewhere, but never hear of any media company doing the same. So if there is any indicator the purse strings are tight in the media industry, that would be a good one.
The strategy now divides
With the loss of the newspapers comes the loss of defined territory. Each city once had one paper, sometimes two or more in large cities. Today, you can log onto any news source from all across the nation. This market is now very saturated and niche targeting has evolved. They target people who think a certain way. People now go to publications that back up their beliefs. If that wasn’t the case, there would be nobody badmouthing other news sources.
Ideally, we would let the information available lead the beliefs. Our beliefs would be ever-changing as the information comes in. However, because of the divide, it is vice-versa. Nobody learns anything new as a result. They just sit and polish what they currently have. We’re breathing stale air that resides in the bubble that we’ve built ourselves because of our limited allegiances to side A or side B.
No customer service
When a news story is discovered as being false, this simply isn’t a big setback for media companies. It’s almost as if they go “Whoopsie! Oh well, you’re still going to need your information tomorrow aren’t you?”. Then they just go about their business. Want to call into a customer service line and complain? They could give less off a damn what one person thinks. If they get a lot of complaints, they issue an apology just to shut people up.
How We Handle This
The Upward Politics Project does not automatically accept any news story where politics can touch any topic. We will be more likely to accept a story like a plane crash, weather updates, or a sports team winning a championship. This is why we apply The 50/50 Treatment to anything political that is conveyed throughout the media today. This is giving each story only up to 50% accuracy and reserving the other 50% for the next point of view on the same topic we were just informed on. This is our sure-fire way to enjoy an indoctrination-proof existence.