Saturday, January 17, 2009

Newspapers are dead, long live newspapers...

Newspapers, telephone books and almost all print advertising is on its way out and about ready to bite the dust. When was the last time you looked at a telephone book? Even if you saw a print ad, didn't you go look up the item on the Internet? A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press did a study. The results were as follows:


Although traditional newspaper readership is down, falling at the rate of about 2.5% a year, rather than signaling the end of news, it is more an indication of the change in the channel of communication. You may not be able to wrap the garbage in it or put it down to paint the room, but the paper edition is only transforming itself into a different product. The Annual Report on American Journalism states that News is shifting from being a product — today’s newspaper, Web site or newscast — to becoming a service — how can you help me, even empower me? To quote their article on Major Trends; "And newer media seem to have an even narrower peripheral vision than older media. Cable news, talk radio (and also blogs) tend to seize on top stories (often polarizing ones) and amplify them. The Internet offers the promise of aggregating ever more sources, but its value still depends on what those originating sources are providing. Even as the media world has fragmented into more outlets and options, reporting resources have shrunk."

The Annual Report also reports "A shrinking of news staffs and space committed to news continued though 2007 and spread from the big metros to many mid-sized papers. Some of the lost “feet on the street” end up as jobs added to online and niche, but the ambition of newspapers to cover their regions or even basic government functions in nearby exurban towns is on a sharp decline."

It may be that all that time I spent as a Boy Scout collecting old newspapers to raise money for our troop may soon become a historical oddity.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information. This is really interesting. With the newspaper, magazine and news program media becoming ever more biased and agenda driven, the emergence of more widespread reporting via the internet is a refreshing change. I love it that bloggers have a say now to. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What we need now is a bailout for newspapers. Not a blank check to soften the cushion for the likes of Sam Zell. No, let’s do it just like we’re doing it for the auto industry, and for the same reason. We must help newspaper journalism survive because it is vital to the Republic. But, only those newspaper companies that can develop a workable plan to quickly transport themselves into the digital age should be eligible for this bailout. And, the money should strictly go toward helping newspapers to stop killing trees and start being Internet only.

    It's true that newspapers themselves are to blame for their predicament.Blind to the changes that everybody else saw and arrogant in thinking that they could survive on journalistic merit and an advertising base with nowhere else to go, they had their heads buried in the sand. But just like GM and Citi, they're too big to fail. So, let's spend a few million (not billion) to save them.

    If newspapers start collapsing and closing down, we will lose a public service that’s more valuable than many branches of government. There will be almost nobody to keep government and industry honest without newspaper reporters. Blogs, TV & radio still get most of their news from newspaper reporters. Even the AP is supported by its newspaper membership. Without newspapers, AP doesn't survive.

    Taxpayers should bail out newspapers. Newspapers have bailed out taxpayers often enough.

    Read more at http://tinyurl.com/newspaperbailout

    ReplyDelete
  3. What we need now is a bailout for newspapers. Not a blank check to soften the cushion for the likes of Sam Zell. No, let’s do it just like we’re doing it for the auto industry, and for the same reason. We must help newspaper journalism survive because it is vital to the Republic. But, only those newspaper companies that can develop a workable plan to quickly transport themselves into the digital age should be eligible for this bailout. And, the money should strictly go toward helping newspapers to stop killing trees and start being Internet only.

    It's true that newspapers themselves are to blame for their predicament.Blind to the changes that everybody else saw and arrogant in thinking that they could survive on journalistic merit and an advertising base with nowhere else to go, they had their heads buried in the sand. But just like GM and Citi, they're too big to fail. So, let's spend a few million (not billion) to save them.

    If newspapers start collapsing and closing down, we will lose a public service that’s more valuable than many branches of government. There will be almost nobody to keep government and industry honest without newspaper reporters. Blogs, TV & radio still get most of their news from newspaper reporters. Even the AP is supported by its newspaper membership. Without newspapers, AP doesn't survive.

    Taxpayers should bail out newspapers. Newspapers have bailed out taxpayers often enough.

    Read more at http://tinyurl.com/newspaperbailout

    ReplyDelete