The Incredible Shrinking News Media

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The San Jose Mercury News recently launched yet another round of editorial cuts — This makes three in just the last 18 months, a cut of nearly 17 percent that will leave the paper with 200 newsroom positions, down from a peak of 400 just seven years ago.

With the San Francisco Chronicle’s recent announcement of its own staff slicing, coupled with major regional media consolidation, the Bay Area is starting to feel like the incredible shrinking news area.

But the Bay Area is not a case in isolation. Media consolidation is plaguing media outlets across the nation. In our March/April 2007 issue, Mother Jones found that equity-chasing investors and the FCC are key players in the incredibly expanding media mess. Wall Street, the Bush Administration and technology are all in the mix, too.

—Gary Moskowitz

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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