The first reason is the reduced opportunity for coverage. By 2010, newsrooms had 30 percent less staff than at the turn of the century. The reporter who covered your company is gone. Now there’s a reporter who covers your industry or several industries, and he has less time for you and your pitch. High-priced veteran reporters are being replaced with younger tech-savvy journalists who have no long-standing relationships with PR sources. Meanwhile, newspapers have fewer pages than before. A 2008 study showed that 34 percent of newspapers had reduced business coverage, while only 17 percent had increased it.
The second reason is the shift to the Web. Whether digital newspapers can turn a profit remains a key concern. The New York Times offers a glimmer of hope on that front. It will earn $91 million from digital subscriptions this year, representing 12 percent of subscription sales. So it seems newspapers that produce content people want to read can thrive behind paywalls.