Why aren't news outlets covering their own woes better?
What may be most striking about some of the awful news revealed about the latest restructring of media in recent days and weeks -- besides the surprising number of jobs vanishing in modern media just before Christmas -- is how little some news organizations are covering their own woes.
The Today show Monday morning spent long minutes congratulating new Meet the Press host David Gregory for his great new gig, but had no time to spare for noting the 500 jobs its company eliminated last week -- including correspondents such as Kevin Corke and Don Teague. Instead, there was a fleeting reference to the layoffs on CNBC during an interview with NBC-Universal chairman Jeff Zucker.
In a column, Fortune.com notes that Tribune Co.'s move to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring had been predicted for long months by analysts looking at businessman Sam Zell's plan for puyrchasing the company. According to the column, the New York Times faces a similarly large debt payment which could cause problems for them in 2009, but the country's newspaper of record has not yet covered that struggle facing the country's newspaper of record.
Viacom laid off 850 employees last week; Gannett laid off nearly 2,000. But while many Gannett newspapers ran stories on their layoffs, few outlets offered truly incisive coverage of their own problems and TV outlets were worse.
All of which bring up an interesting question: How should the media cover the story when it is the story?
So far, we've been counting on the competition; the New York Times broke the story that McClatchy company was considering selling the Miami Herald late last week, while the TVNewser Web site trumpeted the news of layoffs at NBC-Universal and CNN.