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"Notre métier n’est ni de faire plaisir, ni de faire du tort. Il est de porter la plume dans la plaie." - Albert Londres


On a souvent l'impression que la presse va mal. C'est parfaitement exact.

Michael Massing a écrit The End of News? un long, très long et très instructif article dans le New York Review of Books (December 1, 2005) sur les problèmes de la presse aujourd'hui. Il est disponible en ligne. Voici quelques extraits:

La presse est attaquée de l'extérieur
But the campaign against the press is only partly a result of a hostile White House. The administration's efforts have been amplified by a disciplined and well-organized news and opinion campaign directed by conservatives and the Christian right.

La presse est attaquée de l'intérieur

In addition to feeling under attack from without, journalists feel threatened from within. In previous decades, the major newspapers were mostly owned by family-run companies, which usually insulated newsrooms from the vicissitudes of the stock market. Today, most newspapers are owned by large publicly held corporations, for which profit margins are increasingly more important than investment in better reporting. This has sapped news organizations of their ability to defend themselves at precisely the moment they need it most. ( )

For most big-city papers, circulation is declining, advertising is shrinking, and reporters and editors are being let go. ( )

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, when most papers went public, they had little trouble maintaining such levels ( of profits) . Many enjoyed a monopoly in their markets, and realtors, car dealers, and local stores had no choice except to advertise in them. The introduction of new printing technology helped to reduce labor costs and to shift power away from unions and toward management. But papers have since faced successive waves of new competition- first from TV, then from cable, and now from the Internet. Yet Wall Street continues to demand the same high profits. ( )

Les jeunes ne lisent pas les journaux

John Morton, a well-known newspaper analyst, points out that some very well-run companies, such as The Washington Post, have hired more reporters, foreign correspondents, and editors, yet continue to lose circulation. The reason, he says, is clear: the disappearance of young readers. "It is the fundamental problem facing the industry," Morton says. "It's probably not going away. And no one has figured a way out." ( )

The full extent of this problem is described in Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don't Follow the News, by David T.Z. Mindich. A former assignment editor for CNN who now teaches journalism at St. Michael's College in Vermont, Mindich writes that while more than 70 percent of older Americans read a newspaper every day, fewer than 20 percent of young Americans do. As a result, he writes, "America is facing the greatest exodus of informed citizenship in its history. ( )

La solution internet?

All eyes are now on the Internet. Even as paid circulation has dwindled at many papers, the number of visits to their Web sites has soared. ( )

In the long term, most observers agree, the future of newspapers lies with the Web, where transmitting the news requires no expensive newsprint, delivery trucks, or union drivers. The question is, can the Internet generate revenue-and readers-fast enough to make up for the shortfalls from print?

Autre article du même auteur sur le sujet

The Press: The Enemy Within

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