By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press
NEEPAWA, Man. — The newspaper industry has a problem, but it’s not what most people think. More than anything else, the newspaper industry in North America has an ownership problem. Long known by those in the industry, the public watched this story explode a little over a week ago. The spark? A series of editorials in the Denver Post blasting their owners, a hedge-fund called Alden Global Capital.
What most readers forget, or don’t know, is that many of the papers they read are owned by hedge funds or investment companies. It could be outright, like the Denver Post, or by extension, like Postmedia, which has borrowed so much to fuel its expansion, it is effectively beholden to its lenders. This ownership structure favours profitability at any cost — they are investors looking to make money through newspaper ownership, not newspaper owners looking to make money.