COMMENT 

A Biden Dip?

What impact will a Joe Biden presidency have on the publishing sector?

By James Evelegh

A Biden Dip?
Photograph: David Everett Strickler on Unsplash.

Will the Trump Bump be replaced by the Biden Dip?

You might have noticed that Joe Biden won the US election last week. Donald Trump appears not to have cottoned on yet, but, barring a constitutional crisis of titanic proportions, soon will.

What will a Biden presidency mean for publishers and journalists?

  1. Less stuff to write about: for the past four years, the op-ed pages of many newspapers have been dominated by commentary on one man – Donald Trump. Biden, to his credit, is less colourful, so feature writers are just going to have to find something else to write about. America’s late night comedians will also have to start looking for new material.
  2. Fewer subscriptions: the ‘Trump Bump’ – the positive effect that his presidency had on the subscription levels of some newspapers and magazines – has been well chronicled. I’m sure these new subscribers are not all going to suddenly melt away, but publishers will have to work harder to retain them. For all the sound and fury, Trump was good for subs.
  3. Safer working environment: The incessant refrain of “fake news” and Trump’s outrageous description of the press as the “enemy of the people” has endangered journalists in the US and emboldened despots around the world to mistreat them. Whilst much of the world will remain a dangerous place for journalists, it will be that little bit safer for having Biden in the White House.

So, will we get a ‘Biden Dip’? Will fewer people be turning to mainstream news media as a result of Biden’s win? Quite possibly, but I suspect that for many journalists, that will be a price worth paying for a little peace and quiet after the pandemonium of the last four years.