2010 Pittsblog Predictions Revisited: Part 9

Last in a series:  I made a series of predictions a year ago about what 2010 would hold for Pittsburgh.  How did I do?  Today:

9. Media: A Pittsburgh-based newspaper will cease daily print publication in 2010. Blogs and other social media won’t fill the gap.

This was the "out on a limb" forecast, and I didn't come close.  Here's a story about the newspaper business in 2010 that explains in non-Pittsburgh specific terms why 2010 wasn't as catastrophic as a lot of people expected: advertising did not continue its precipitous rate decline.

What that story tells you is that the newspaper business isn't any healthier than it was a year ago; my failure to forecast the closure of the Post-Gazette does not mean that the PG's print future is bright. It's not. Somewhat sooner than later, print will be done, and you'll read the "paper" only your iPad or whatever.  The Trib may last a bit longer in print, because the Trib's economic premise is different, and in any case few people I know who know journalism regard the Trib as a real paper.  The City Paper is a tab -- interesting stuff, clever but uneven writing, but not really the news.

The PG's relentless churning of its offerings notwithstanding, the paper still has the same strengths (willingness to subsidize multi-part investigative reporting of the sort that only daily newspapers seem to do really well) and weaknesses (just about zero meaningful local coverage of the business community) that it has had for years.  The paper is playing around with Internet offerings, trying to monetize a substantial fan base, and playing around with some print offerings, too (coverage of the legal community on Mondays, which feeds to much at the wire trough and spends too little time talking about local happenings).

That's the last post for 2010.  Across the nine categories of my forecasts, I add them up and get 10 1/2 marks out of a possible 20.  Not too bad.

Stay safe tonight.  There's lots to come in 2011.


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About Pittsblog

Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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