Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Canary in the coal mine

I found this chart over at What They Think - a publishing industry blog and news center - fascinating.

You need to listen to the narration that goes along with it. Don't fixate on the dismal newspaper industry news represented by that blue line at the bottom. But look at what some of these lines say.

For instance, yes, the latest economic problems have aggravated newspapers' problems, but they clearly were cutting long before this latest recession -- as early as the first quarter of 2006.

And, as "Dr. Joe Webb," the narrator notes, if you take a look at graphic design production workers, they were being pared back as early as the first quarter of 2008. And ad agencies began their slide in late 2007.

All in all, it seems to say that a bunch of people in this business knew what was about to come - perhaps not as severely as it has. So maybe it's time we revise, a bit, the prevailing narrative that things were at least OK until those dastardly subprime mortgages imploded. Clearly the folks reading the economic tea leaves were seeing something before that implosion. There was a canary in the coal mine here; did anyone here it croaking?

(Interesting in the narration is the conclusion that the growth business out of all this is PR.)



At 1/20/09, 1:13 AM, Anonymous locksmith mesa said...

Informative dude!Thanks..

At 1/21/09, 2:13 AM, Blogger tom said...

Doug: Knight Ridder's demise was the canary in the coal mine. Everything went to hell after that.

At 1/22/09, 9:30 AM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Ha! Good point. Actually, it all went to hell when PMs papers dropped like flies, but that's another story ...


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