Stop the Presses

A statistical snapshot of our rapidly shrinking media universe.

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  • Since 1972, the percentage of Americans who read a newspaper every day has dropped from 70% to less than 40%.
  • Between 1990 and 2004, daily newspaper circulation dropped 11%, from 62 million to 55 million.
  • 2/3 of independent newspaper owners have shut down in the past three decades.
  • Less than one-fifth of the nation’s 1,500 daily newspapers are independently owned.
  • Nearly 40% of newspapers, accounting for almost 70% of daily circulation, are owned by major newspaper chains.
  • More than half of all U.S. markets are dominated by one paper.
  • Newspapers are expected to make $50 billion from advertising in 2007.
  • Online advertising is expected to account for around 6% of newspapers’ total ad revenues in 2007.
  • The newspaper industry has cut 2,800 full-time newsroom jobs this decade.
  • The value of the United States’ airwaves has been estimated at $367 billion.
  • The number of companies owning TV stations has dropped 40% since 1995.
  • 1/3 of independent TV owners have left the business.
  • Less than 4% of television stations are owned by minorities.
  • The number of radio station owners has dropped by 34% since 1996, when ownership rules were relaxed.
  • 1/3 of local radio stations are owned by out-of-town conglomerates.
  • Comcast and TimeWarner serve 40% of households with cable TV.
  • Since the passage of the Telecom Act of 1996, cable TV rates have gone up 40%.
  • Nearly one-fifth of Americans get their Internet access via AOL/TimeWarner.

Sources: Common Cause, Isp-Planet.com, Newspaper Association of America, Project for Excellence in Journalism, StopBigMedia.com

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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