So Many Niches, So Little Money

A while back I noted an article that discussed the fact that while newspaper circulation is down on the whole, ethnic newspaper circulation is experiencing growth.

According to another recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the same is true of magazines and journals. Magazines focussed on to very narrow audiences, (people trying to get pregnant, people who like hybrid cars and living like tycoon Donald Trump are among those mentioned), are beginning to appear more and more often.

As I mentioned in a number of earlier entries, this type of thing makes it very difficult for organizations with limited budgets and a mission to reach a wide portion of the audience. If people are getting their news and information solely from a few sources with limited circulations, it makes it increasingly difficult and expensive to communicate with a fairly large number of people. (Of course, it being able to promote directly to people who fancy themselves tycoons can be useful.)

This is probably one of those cases where reality runs counter to expectations. The advent of email was heralded as the beginning of the paperless revolution, instead paper consumption went up. Now where the internet might be expected to be cutting costs since you can email instead of snail mail brochures and information to patrons, it has created the expectation that one can access information specially prepared and filtered for one’s own interests and view of the world. So now those “savings” have to be employed to put your information in a thousand places instead of a handful.

Don’t you just love progress?

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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