The Albuquerque Tribune and “Right Wing” media

Newspaper readers throughout New Mexico are aware of the financial problems and the very real potential for closure at Albuquerque’s afternoon newspaper, the Tribune. While I am certainly sympathetic with the plight of the Trib and hope that new ownership can be found, I take issue with a recent article in the paper which cited the Trib’s potential demise as an example of “concentrated media ownership” and argued that “A huge majority of columnists in most daily newspapers are right-wing.”
First and foremost, while the Tribune is indeed in trouble, that has little to do with media consolidation. Instead, it is the result of increased competition from other news sources (including blogs) and declining readership among newspapers — especially afternoon papers — nationwide.
The author cites a recent report from a group called Media Matters which found that a majority of newspaper columnists carried in major newspapers nationwide are “right-of-center,” writers, this may be a response to reader demands. After all, liberal newspapers like the New York Times are losing readers faster than their more conservative counterparts.
Hopefully the Trib pulls through, but if it doesn’t, it is market trends, not “conservative, corporate media ownership” that will have caused the loss of the paper.

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