Weekend Special 10/17/09 — To predict the future of newspapers, follow the decline of paid porn

PORN TALE FOR NEWSPAPERS: Star-Ledger Live reporter Brian Donohue visits the Exxxotica convention in Edison, NJ:

“Being in an industry where the bottom is falling out, I thought it would be good to talk to some people in the same boat: pornographers.

“A recent story said the huge amounts of free adult content on the web is killing sales of pornographic DVDs. Profits are down 30 to 50 percent in the lest few years — wow, that’s worse than newspapers. Porn stars are being forced to work for less, and perform acts they never would have imaged a few years ago.”

  • Steven Morowitz, owner, VideoXPix: “If you can get anything online for free, who’s going to go into a store and buy it … Forty years ago, my old man started this company as a brick and mortar, all hard good, there was no internet [this is a family business — started in 1964] … The hard good market is just shrinking and shrinking.”
  • Joe Money, Brazenboys.com: “I don’t go to the Wall Street Journal anymore just to follow one writer, I go to blogs because they have several writers. … When I go to TechCrunch, I follow Michael Arrington, his writing is phenomenal. I go there just to read him and Jason Kincaid. When they come to the Brazenboys they’re looking for our films because we shoot them a specific way. Old classic journalism needs to look at it like that, because there’s not that big Star-Ledger anymore. There’s millions of kids out there with a voice. I’m one of them.
  • Iridal Loveland, FestishFantasyGirl.com: “[Business] has slowed down, the economy’s hitting everybody, but we’re doing okay. There’s always been free stuff… When internet first started, magazine sales are down, but everybody finds a way to come back with something new.”

A bonus, at 7:10 on the video, is this testimonial to the Star-Ledger by adult entertainer Karyn Thomas, who grew up in Bloomfield, NJ:

“That was the only newspaper I ever knew. When I moved to Artizon, I was like, where’s the Star-Ledger? And they were like, well, there are different newspaeprs in different states.”

Reporter Donohue and entertainer Thomas agreed there will always be a need for good reporters, and for experts.

Thomas: There’s always going to be quality stuff, and there’s always going to be non-quality stuff. Anybody can get a camera and go film him and his wife, or him and his girlfriend, or him and a girl.

Donohue: Anyone can blog at home.

Thomas: Anyone can blog at home, it doesn’t take a genius to do any of those things.

Donohue: You got to be an expert, and you got to be a real reporter.

Thoams: Exactly. Exactly.

The future of journalism.

ALSO: Here’s a link to CNN’s Exxxotica report, “Does sex still sell? Adult industry not immune to recession.”

AND: In case you missed it, here’s a repost of “Saving Newspapers: The Musical” by Jonathan Mann:

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