If there were any institution that would be likely to invest in print media while all others are turning their backs on it, you would think it would be National Public Radio. Yes well, you would be wrong. In a memo, reprinted by Romenesko, NPR’s Director of Morning Programming, Ellen McDonnell, states the following:
As of April 1 NPR is canceling all newspaper subscriptions. We are making some arrangements to get the Wall Street Journal either on line or hard copy. You have until tomorrow to appeal this if there is a solid reason why you should be exempt. This is a cost saving measure company wide.
Can we really blame NPR? It is estimated that NPR’s newspaper subscriptions costs the group $100,000 a year. NPR is a business in turmoil just like every other media outlet. As Connecticut Public Broadcast reports, last year NPR was forced to lay off seven percent of its staff and, in this time of recession, the radio station is going into its March fundraising needing to $225,000 just to pay their bills for the year. This doesn’t bode well for the news station as fundraising has been down this year due to the lack of philanthropic support from corporations and the economic downturn affecting most peoples’ personal finances.
According to a release from NPR the staff will still have access to the NPR research library which houses more than eighty print magazines and journals as well as print copies of New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal. Sure news isnâ€™t free, but should we fault NPR for attempting to cut costs like every other media industry right now?