The Newspaper Association of America did not appreciate John Oliver’s take on the importance of newspapers (which we made our video of the day a few days back). A statement by CEO David Chavern, says:
“Other than encouraging people to ‘pay for’ more news, he doesn’t offer any answers. More particularly, he spends most of the piece making fun of publishers who are just trying to figure it out. Whatever you think of the name ‘tronc’ and that company’s announced growth strategy, at least they are trying new things and trying to figure out how to create great news journalism in the digital era. John Oliver doesn’t seem to have any better ideas.
“The fact is that we are in a transitional phase within the entire industry. People want, need and consume more hard news than they ever have. The core demand for the product isn’t decreasing at all, and based upon that we will find our way to the far shore where the industry is thriving and growing once again. But in the meantime, there is going to be a lot of experimentation and evaluation of new business models.
“Some experiments will work and some won’t, and our VP of Innovation, Michael MaLoon is committed to keeping you up-to-date on what is happening on that front. But making fun of experiments and pining away for days when classified ads and near-monopolistic positions in local ad markets funded journalism is pointless and ultimately harmful.
“I would just ask Mr. Oliver to spend more time talking about what the future of news could be, and less time poking fun at publishers who are trying to get there.”