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Biz vs. Art: Who’s Hiring–A Teaser

What is on the horizon for arts coverage?

We have been crunching some numbers over here at Cision blog, really taking a hard look at newspapers during these tumultuous years to help give a little more articulation to what is largely regarded as their death, and lo do we have some more figures for you. This time we have dug into some beat comparisons, drawing out what looks to be a substantial shift in newspaper coverage since 2009. There are many conclusions we are hoping to draw, but you are going to have to find the long of it at our sister site, The Navigator, tomorrow. With this post I was hoping to raise a few questions.

I can tell you one specific: we were looking at the differences between the developments and commitments to business coverage and those to arts & entertainment within daily newspapers. It is no secret the business beat has weathered this storm particularly well. At The Navigator, we spoke with Chris Roush upon the news The Wall Street Journal bested USA Today in circulation, back in 2009, and it seems things really haven’t changed. The Wall Street Journal has been charging forward, as have its competitors Bloomberg News, Reuters and The Financial Times, all launching many new platforms and expanding staff during these intervening years.

Meanwhile, the arts continue to take their hits. They are not alone, and I admit I am offering a simplistic view. Suburban news teams, for example, with their expensive bureaus, have also had their burdens. But while the thinning of provincial coverage can be attributed to a decided flight of readers back into city centers, arts coverage marks a change more specific to the media industry.

I am talking about the internet, of course, but more specifically, how it has divided the traditional balance of beats along the paid, earned and owned lines. The simplest way of putting is that arts, as a subject, is inherently promotional, and that has affected where its content appears. Theaters, studios, bands and galleries all want their news out, their dates, showtimes and channels, and now they are largely able to either do that themselves or focus on niche outlets and even retail services, along with advertising, to establish their presence.

While business as a subject also participates in owned and niche models, it remains more recalcitrant, harder to parse and less self-promotional (largely), so the news there requires more dedicated work hours to derive.  And as we will see tomorrow, the newspaper industry has responded accordingly.

What do you think? Am I off the mark here? Are you angry about my statistics embargo? Let us know in the comments.

[UPDATE]: Here is the full post at the Navigator:

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Cision's research staff makes over 20,000 media updates to Cision's Media Database each day! For more updates and other thought leadership in the industry, follow @Media_Moves.

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