Is a Bad Economy Ever 'Good'?

It’s sometimes said that if you want a really steady income, become an undertaker.

There’s no doubt right now that times are tough all over.  The news media is among the industries that have been hit especially hard–in this case, by factors including changing technology and news-consumption habits, but also by lower ad revenues from the weak economy.

If there is a silver lining to be found behind that big ol’ cumulonimbus, however, it is that those same news media are generously donating much of their unsold ad inventory to important public-service messages.

Many of those messages are made possible by the Ad Council, which works with ad agencies on a pro bono basis, in conjunction with partners such as government agencies, to produce important public-service campaigns.  A couple of well-known examples are Smokey Bear’s anti-forest-fire admonitions, and Vince and Larry, those wacky crash-test dummies.  An article in The New York Times examines this trend.

The Library of Congress for the past several years has proudly been one of those Ad Council partners–initially promoting the value of learning history, and now getting out the word about reading.  One of the outcomes of that partnership has been our great (if I must say so myself) website, Literacy.gov.

To date, our Ad Council partnership has yielded a donated media value of more than a quarter of a billion dollars–billion, with a B–for these important messages.  (Coincidentally or not, The New York Times has been one of the single biggest supporters of our literacy campaign.  I’ve noticed a few of our full-page PSAs in that newspaper in the past several months.)

Hard times are known to bring out the best in people, so it is good to see a few of the ways some folks are giving of themselves to help others.

7 Comments

  1. chester
    July 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    I am in my sixties, as an observer from afar,I strongly suggest , you compare that of your base principles on building what appears to be solid foundations, which proves to be not so as your sub prime mortgages.

    Again! here we go_ your media is based on fundimentals that has no relevance to facts but all much about nothing of comments by so call journalists and presenters based their comments on comments.

    you can fool some of the people, some of the time, but not all the people all the time.

    The emperor have no clothes on!!

    Differentuate facts from opinions and be productive and do the legwork and checkout the facts. get back to basics.

    For what’s it worth! It’s a thought to consider.

  2. Terry
    July 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    True that hard times brings out the best in people. Sadly, it gives an opportunists a opening to gain more power/control.
    Our current administration is making great strides in government control.

  3. zxjfgy
    July 1, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Evety successful man must have experiwnced some hard times. when facing ssetbacks. don’t frighten. I believe that you will be happier after overcoming them.

  4. Ingeborg Metag
    July 2, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Their article I correspond only partially, because though it is right which may move the heavy times some people to the state unfairness and censorships of the spoken and written word do not want to bend, while you your view of the political situation not to give satisfaction in often the journalism Worldwide enough with knowledge is to be introduced in himself; if the proof of correctness of the information stands, nevertheless, in parallel in swaying.

    Wrong hatred messages on Internet sites one big story announce and, however, there remains only with thick air while the user will book wrong-escorted is as annoying in the journalism like silly fare dodgers the resources and storage capacity of on-line platforms pointlessly.

    Still inalienably the co-operation by citizens Internationally – it important details would be able to do him Journalism escape to exhaust all capacities, nevertheless, the experience is unavoidable.

    They, however, only the partial generosity of the newspaper publishers to integrate the reader into news and discussions to process important details partially leaves open the question whether it of the publishers desirably or the cooperation of the readers Global of honest interests stamped, unfortunately, stays still open sometimes.

    If the question already appeared with other Internet news and Blogs whether these Nevertheless state-controlled and disagreeable statements are censored or are ignored even.

    If some newspaper publishers seem, nevertheless, the reader to faith they leave are able to do your opinion to express itself freely views, topical news of your country, many and particularly on-line readers if surprise your topical comments Ignored and not, nevertheless, are published hatred and rushes, peep and carried are published.

    A difficult matter, must remain, nevertheless respects and approved that newspaper publishers and journalists can freely dispose even of your reportings and have to go, you did not want state default like in Asia et cetera.

  5. Ingeborg Metag
    July 2, 2009 at 5:05 am

    No, a bad economy is not good for:

    - economic
    - people
    - crime
    - humanrights
    and rigtht and Order in the general one of a state.

    Even more national debts and made poverty, grief and act of violence of the Guarantor-around enterprises are produced. Es werden noch mehr Staatsschulden und gemachten Armut,Leid und Gewaltakte der Bürgerund Unternehmen produziert.

    A removal of state corruptions and economic deception would be presumably useless sensibly, however, if the justice even in it involved.

    My thanks in Library of Congress which I might express my honest opinion because from a known saying-Silence is gold- I can join not directly.

  6. Alex
    July 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Hard times… :-(

  7. Noel
    July 6, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I’ve heard the phrase “some of the best companies in the world were started during bad economic times” and although it could be argued that there are just as many successful ones who got their start in good times.

    Since we’re in bad times (and I work at a library mobile software start up), we just to look at the positive side of things and see what we’re doing to make sure we’ll be able to weather the storm. Collectively, we’re working smarter, spending intelligently and regarding our product development, considering how our customers/users will be able to utilize our technology to be more efficient.

    Do I wish things were better in the U.S. economy? Of course! But considering the circumstances, the people at our company are developing good habits that will stick around after things get better, so there’s plenty of good things happening for us during this downturn. We’re paying bills, we’re making a great product and we’ll be around for a long time.

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