Will Professor Craigslist Please Comment On The Tribune's Decision To Drop Job Ads?

from the contrast dept

We've already seen newspapers blame Craigslist for the various troubles they face (rather than recognizing the problem is their own ability to adjust and adapt). So it will be interesting to see how various journalists react to the news that Craigslist is now endowing a journalism professorship at UC Berkeley with a few million dollars of its ample profits. And, as an interesting contrast to that announcement, Marc Andreessen points us to the news that the Chicago Tribune has decided to give up printing job ads during the week. It's quite likely that Craigslist is doing quite well with job listings in Chicago... and not just on weekends. However, this doesn't mean that Craigslist "killed" the Tribune's job listing section -- but that the Tribune was way too slow in reacting to the changing market. Hopefully, whoever takes on the role of the Craigslist professor will know not to blame sites like Craigslist and Google for newspapers unwillingness to adapt.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Bob, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 8:48am

    Where do they get money?

    Are there paid ads on Craigslist? I admit I haven't used it much but is there paid advertising?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    TriZz, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 9:01am

    Re: Where do they get money?

    There's no ads. I think it's all donations and merchandise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 9:12am

    Job listings are paid for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Rocky, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 9:42am

    Many moons ago I paid to put a classified ad in the local newspaper. The one thing that floored me was when they asked if wanted to pay an extra $10 to also run it online?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Dawn, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 9:54am

    But what if you're too poor to afford the internet and you need to look for a job? Job listings seem like the only logical thing a newspaper should have in this day and age.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Ken, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 10:03am


    You would be surprised what the poor and jobless have. I own a small apartment building and it never ceases to amaze me that the people who are on Section 8 pull up in a $50k Escalade with designer clothes head to toe, yet the state pays their rent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Peter, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Always Options

    There are always public libraries!! I think we are in a day and age now that anyone can have internet access if they want it, even free if necessary. As for profits, Craigslist charges for different postings in different cities: real estate and jobs in NYC, but only RE in Boston.

    Interestingly enough, this ties into the general theme we hear a lot here at Techdirt: offer free postings to the masses so you can charge for more premium services, like posting resumes and real estate. The large audience here for the 'free lunch' is very appealing to those looking to connect with more clientele.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Rob Blatt, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 10:17am

    Re: Bob

    Craigslist charges for certain placements, like real estate in NY, but this is to deter people from over spamming the system. It hasn't ended the practices, but it's help a little.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    JB, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 10:40am

    Weekday Job Ads

    Weekday job ads have always been pretty thin around here, usually a bunch of "management trainee" positions and housekeepers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Harold, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 11:27am

    Public Libraries

    Are there any places where there are not local public libraries, or ones within a reasonable distance? I'm sure there are; perhaps those communities will keep displaying job ads in their local papers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Andy, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 12:09pm


    No one complains that the tribune doesn't have a useful real estate rental properties section. I have no idea if they do, and you know why? Because no one uses the tribune when looking for rental properties in chicago. traditionally, it's been the Chicago Reader that is the go-to source for rental listings. craigslist is changing that, but Big News never had a lock on all classified types.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    4-80-sicks, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 2:18pm

    Maybe if the traditional newspapers didn't charge $10 a line for classifieds more people would use them. That's just pushing your market away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Eric the Grey, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Where do they get money?

    Professional ads are paid. Ads put up by businesses such as the want ads mentioned above as well as some real estate postings. That pays for their site, and allows the free user postings that are the majority of the site.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Squegie, Jan 20th, 2008 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Public Libraries

    Maybe in some truly small communities this is still and issue. But I imagine that people looking for jobs in these "very small communities" are looking in a more populated area that does have a library with Internet Access.

    The state of PA (possibly other states, but I can only speak of what I know) has a system called "PA Career Link" which is essentially a state funded job training and job listing services. They assist people (anyone that asks) with their resume, offer some basic "classes" on job seeking/interview techniques, and ahve one of the most comprehensive listings of jobs in the state. Most PA employers will post on CareerLink before hitting up monster.com or craigslist.

    In Bedford County, towns as small as 2000 people have a library with Internet access, and CareerLink offices dot the county.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Danny, Jan 21st, 2008 @ 7:17pm

    It is really Craigslist et alia

    There is more going on here than just craigslist, but they are an appropriate beacon to be staring at.

    The Tribune has faced competition for a long time. Suburban newspapers have been around for two generations, with a strong suburban chain being in place for at least one generation around Chicago.

    The Chicago Reader (which has probably been damaged by craigslist to a great extent than the Trib) has been around for a generation or so. And they most certainly have impacted classified advertising in the dailies.

    Along with craigslist, Monster.com and its analog sites have bit deeply into Trib job ads. CarMax, and various online auto sales sites have impacted transportation classifieds. Match.com et al. have cut into the personal's business (another huge blow to the Reader).

    So, yes, the Tribune is being impacted. And the Reader is being slowly starved to death. The Tribune media empire will likely survive (they have enough TV and radio stations to blunt their losses - and they are learning the web as quickly as any of the major newspaper firms. )

    The Trib has taken several non-useful steps: they have shrunk the size of their newsprint; they have backed off slightly on their use of color; they have launched RedEye (their companion paper for the youth market in Chicago). None of this is likely to make much difference for them.

    They have also dived into blogging. But with a corporate media mentality. I read Eric Zorn's Tribune blog on a daily basis. Interestingly while I can post to most blogs (including this one) immediately, the Tribune editors require Zorn to vet all comments before posting. That don't scale too well. But they seem to be learning.

    What I've told Zorn is that I think the future for newspapers (professional journalism) is micro brands.

    The Tribune should forget the idea they are in the "paper" business and realize they are in the "journalism" business. And they should define journalism as professional filtering of news to present what is most important in a clear and useful manner PLUS fast, interesting, useful analysis of the news.

    Then they should take specific brands they have within the Tribune and unbundle them. They have, for example, Zorn's blog. They have a local transportation column called "Getting Around". They have a national political blog called "The Swamp" etc. Offer each of these as separate brands on the web. Build a revenue stream for each (whether it is subscription (unlikely), advertising, or value-added info for a price. Keep the Tribune as an umbrella brand, but let each micro brand stand on its own. Some brands will find an affinity for mobile delivery (like "Getting Around Traffic Updates"). Some will build community (like "TV Topics"). Some will go national (like "The Swamp").

    Anyway, I can see this working - and one of the media conglomerates will figure it out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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