Business, Media

Last gasp for America’s oldest newspaper trade journal

By Branko Brkic 17 December 2009

Editor & Publisher has been ably and reliably covering the US newspaper industry for 125 years. Last week its closure was announced, but there may still be hope.

For the beleaguered US newspaper sector, it was arguably the most symbolic announcement of a closure yet. On December 10, the Nielsen Company said it would shut down Editor & Publisher, the New York-based trade publication that calls itself “America’s Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry”. As reported by the New York Times, advertising and circulation at the 125-year-old title had been declining rapidly, and while Nielsen managed to sell a host of other trade publications – including Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter – no buyers could be found for either E&P or Kirkus Reviews, the legendary US biweekly for the book publishing trade.

In an article heaping praise on E&P’s editor Greg Mitchell, Will Bunch of The Huffington Post wrote: “With a small staff and with so many problems in the world of journalism, E&P had a remarkable knack for honing in on, and reporting the heck out of, the few things that were most important, which were not pageviews and clickthroughs, but old-fashioned journalism that was both highly ethical and highly skeptical. They practiced it that way themselves, and they often went after the mainstream media charlatans who did not.”

Bunch’s sentiments were clearly shared by many of his journalist colleagues, because on December 14, four days after the closure announcement, an article appeared on the Editor & Publisher website under the header, “E&P To Publish January Issue – Hope Remains?” The piece stated that due to an outpouring of support from within and outside the newspaper industry, E&P would go ahead with plans to publish the January 2010 issue, and would continue to post stories to the website until January 1.

The article also revealed that a number of potential buyers had surfaced since the December 10 announcement.

By staff writer

Read more: The Huffington Post, Editor & Publisher

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