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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

November 17, 2006 / Toby Dayton

Conspiracy Or Ignorance? You Decide.

desmoinesregister-jobdig-fe1.jpg

Last Sunday, the Des Moines Register ran a story about the racial divide in Iowa and its impact on people looking for jobs. The story, which appeared on page 1A, featured a picture of a woman with her young children reading a copy of JobDig. Because the story chronicled the problems the woman was encountering in finding a job, even minimum wage jobs, one wonders about the presence of JobDig’s newspaper in the picture. Assuming they were not generously giving away free promotion to a competitor, they either intentionally placed JobDig in the picture or everyone at the photo shoot and in the newsroom is oblivious to the daily newspaper’s competitive enviornment. Either way, the photo is indicative of the pathetic condition of daily newspapers these days.

We compete heavily against the Des Moines Register for recruitment advertising dollars in Iowa, and they have done some very strange things in an attempt to hurt our business and limit our presence in the market. As readers and employers in Iowa have increasingly abandoned the Des Moines Register for better, more effective alternatives, our market share has climbed rapidly and we have become, for many, the preferred alternative in the market. Given our tremendous success and their ongoing struggles, it is conceivable that the Register deliberately placed JobDig in the photo to create the impression that people who read JobDig cannot find jobs and/or that we cater solely to the lower end of the economy with only minimum wage jobs. Of course, neither is true.

It is disturbing, though perhaps not surprising, that a daily paper might attempt to use its editorial department to paint a competing publication in an unfair and incorrect light. Threatening local establishments that distribute JobDig’s free jobs newspaper is one thing (which the Register has done repeatedly), but placing JobDig in a photo on the front page to try to cast us in a potentially negative manner sets a whole new standard for deplorable competitive behavior. Of course, given how ineptly most daily papers have run their businesses over the past decade, the possibility also exists that the collective IQ of everyone involved in publishing Sunday’s edition of the Des Moines Register was sufficiently low to allow JobDig to appear on the cover. Whether it’s conspiracy or sheer ignorance, we’ll gladly take the free exposure.

[tags]Des Moines Register, Daily Newspapers, Death of Newspapers, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, How Monopolies Try To Compete, Newspaper Struggles[/tags]

One Comment

  1. gl hoffman / Nov 17 2006 12:12 pm

    Ok, a running bet here. I bet there is NO way that the DM Register “conspired” to run a picture with our paper prominently displayed on their page ONE. I just don’t think they are that organized enough, or clever enough, frankly…to create a staged, anti-competitive picture. I will personally send a FREE, stuffed JOBDIG dog to the person who can tell us what happened.

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