Newspapers should have been nicer to the real estate industry? Hah!

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RealtyTimes is generally a pretty good resource for information on the real estate market -- once you get past the whole agitprop-esque spin designed to convince you that now is always the time to buy.

But in a recent editorial, site commentator Blanche Evans opined that the newspaper industry "shoulda been nicer to Realtors", citing everything "from ridiculous per-inch pricing to scathing editorials about commissions."

Of course, the newspaper industry is in trouble with declining circulation and plummeting advertising. But did high per-inch ad prices have anything to do with that? I seriously doubt it. Regardless of how much or how little newspapers charge for advertising, the growth of the internet has made it an infinitely better forum for real estate advertising. You can look at 15 pictures, view the full MLS listing sheet, and even view a visual tour, complete with elevator music, for some properties. Newspapers could charge 5 cents per line for real estate ads and they still wouldn't be able to compete with that.

And as for her comment that newspapers shouldn't print editorials that are negative about the industry because it alienates advertisers flies in the face of any sense of journalistic ethics. The editorial page is the property of the paper, not the advertisers, and turning it into part of the National Association of Realtor's propaganda machine would have really alienated readers.

The decline of newspaper advertising is inevitable given the growth of the internet, and Realtors of all people should know that -- I suspect that most do.
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