Your fun fact of the day

  • Number of daily newspapers in the United States: 1,480
  • Number of those which have reporters in Iraq: 3

No wonder most newspapers’ circulations are in a constant downward spiral! The good news here is that, including online readers, the few independent papers left (who account for two of the three with a bureau in Iraq) are more popular than ever, despite hemorrhaging their advertising revenue to eBay and Craig’s List. It helps that some are incorporated as nonprofits without a higher duty to turn a profit to shareholders. In fact, of the four news sources whose headlines I scan more or less daily via RSS, two are nonprofits (the Manchester Guardian and the CBC), and another used to be and in some ways still acts as though it were (the Toronto Star). (The other paper is the Globe & Mail.) If my French were better I’d include Le Devoir, a very well written independent paper which might as well be a non-profit as they barely make their owners any money. As much as I love the power of blogs and wikis to bring news coverage to the people, nothing really replaces a smart professional reporter (and really, most current events blogs cite no sources other than major newspapers). Anyways, it’ll be interesting to see how good newspapers respond now that they have to compete globally based on actual content.