As we saw during their fevered push to re-elect President Obama in 2012, the media still have plenty of power. But this is mainly due to the media working harder than ever before to coordinate with one another on that day's Narrative, and an increased radicalization when it comes to pushing a left-wing Narrative disguised as news. Also playing into the media's hands were and are any number of unforced GOP errors.
Behind the scenes, though, this is an industry running out of gas. According to a new Pew study, the number of newsroom jobs have hit a 35-year low. The industry peaked in 2000, but over the last thirteen years, there has been a 30% cutback in personnel. Now, for the first time since 1978, there are fewer than 40,000 full-time newsroom jobs.
On the newspaper advertising front, things are even more dire. According to The Atlantic, since 2003, print advertising revenue has collapsed from $45 billion to just $19 billion. This revenue is not being made up online either. Over that same ten years, online advertising has only risen from $1.2 billion to $ 3.3 billion.
When you combine print and online revenue today, it adds up to $22.3 billion, which is a little less than 50% of 2003's total of $45 billion.
The overall media has one more problem, and that's the vicious cycle in which it currently finds itself. As its fortunes collapse behind the scene, in order to hang on to its power and influence in the face of new competition from the right online, the public face of the media has only gotten more biased and openly corrupt.
This kind of media behavior might help President Obama win a narrow re-election victory, but it only damages the media's credibility all the more, which in turn turns off the customers, decreases eyeballs, and ultimately results in decreased ad revenue.
An excellent example of this is CNN. A Pew study released Monday shows that between 2007 and 2012, CNN increased the amount of time its evening programming spent on interviews by a whopping 30%. In other words, during the Age of Obama, CNN made a huge leap towards opinion/commentary and away from news reporting.
By 2012, a full 57% of CNN's evening broadcast was anything but news reporting.
And we all know what has happened to CNN's ratings over the last few years.
But CNN was in a bind. It could either objectively report the news or flex its muscles to elect, protect, and then re-elect Barack Obama. The network chose the political route, but the price was its credibility and then its audience.
Polls also show that, as the media becomes more radicalized, the public trusts the institution less and less.
Something's gotta give.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC