August 04, 2010
Did Law Have Anything To Do With The Death Of The Newspaper?
Posted by David Zaring

I'm at the ALSB annual meeting in Richmond, near the glamorous headquarters of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which, like all newspapers, is suffering.  I think there's a bit of a consensus emerging as to why.  The fishwrap era, with its staid but worthy local monopolies (which made monopolies look pretty good, I'd have to say), was an edifice built on classified advertising.  Craigslist and Google killed that, and when journalism moved to the web, non-classified advertising gravitated towards search, and away from display, which meant that the websites have been far less profitable than the print editions.  There's a counternarrative that delves into consolidation of grocery and department stores that has never seemed too plausible to me.

All of this seems like a story about markets and technology, but there are notes of antitrust and IP in there as well.  Not much corporate law, although most big deal newspapers, like Google, embraced dual class stock structures, and most were unionized as well.

There are a number of media law classes out there in law schools, and a number of casebooks as well.  I'm not sure what those classes teach.  But is there any reason to believe that the legal structure of the industry has had anything to do with its fate?  I don't know that I've heard such a story, and it would be interesting to know whether that is the case, not least for those interested in the irrelevance or not of corporate law and those, like me, that still subscribe to an increasingly expensive paper edition.

Do any of our readers think that law had anything to do with the death of the newspaper?

| Bookmark

TrackBacks (0)

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Links to weblogs that reference Did Law Have Anything To Do With The Death Of The Newspaper?:

Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
January 2019
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Miscellaneous Links