The Romenesko Indicator

By Steve Outing

Many of us watch Romenesko to keep tabs of the news business. The venerable media blog, which is published by the Poynter Institute, is great for giving a sense of where the industry is at.

I’ve yet to see anyone use Romenesko for research. (Have I missed it?) But I wonder if a careful analysis of all the media news that gets pumped through Jim Romenesko’s filters would turn up some trends. One I would expect to find is an increasing pessimism by traditional news organizations, and an increase in stories about news company cutbacks, layoffs, stock price falls, circulation dips, etc. — increasing over time.

For fun, I did a quick and completely unscientific survey of what was in the latest Romenesko e-mail, which covers the last 4 days of blog entries. Here’s what I found. (Note: If you tried this, you might categorize things differently. But here’s my attempt. Some stories got counted in more than one category.)

  • 26 – News personnel (announcements, awards, changes, deaths, profiles, etc.)
  • 13 – Demise/decline of newspapers
  • 10 – Ethics-related
  • 9 – Bad news about industry stock prices, real estate sales, acquisitions
  • 6 – Transition of media, online trends, user interaction, etc.
  • 6 – “Inside baseball” stuff (that only true industry geeks care about)
  • 6 – Journalism craft news
  • 5 – News about the news business (excluding the “The End Is Near” coverage)
  • 4 – College journalism, academia, research
  • 4 – Oddball stuff
  • 3 – Labor news
  • 3 – New publications, websites, programs announced
  • 2 – Stories with mixed good-bad news about news industry
  • 2 – Credentials and access issues
  • 2 – Objectivity in journalism
  • 2 – Gossip
  • 2 – Events, conferences
  • 1 – Negative stories about Internet, blogs, user content, etc.
  • 1 – Media law
  • 1 – Audience, circulation news

Perhaps someone with more time on their hands than me can find interesting Romenesko trends over time.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!