The End of Newspapers-Why You Should Care

After reading an article about how much longer do newspapers have ( read it here: http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/03/the-newsonomics-of-oblivion/), and an earlier observation about the expense involved now in publishing, it seems like a good time to remind those who never touch a paper about how this will affect them.

 

An earlier article noted that it costs so much to put out the New York Times, the paper could send every subscriber FOUR free Kindles per year, and still end up with more money than they are taking in now! This pretty effectively underscores that newspapers can’t possibly continue putting out print editions…in today’s world, the economics just prohibit it.

 

What does this mean to you, the non-newspaper reader (or perhaps the concerned newspaper reader?) It means that newspaper organizations have to find a way to profitably stay in business as NEWS organizations…without the paper. Why? The short answer is that they are the ones at this point in time that are doing the heavy lifting as far as local news and investigative journalism.

 

Virtually everyone else borrows or steals from them. Bloggers and aggregators either have no news staff or very small ones. Radio news is so badly reduced that many major market outlets don’t even have enough reporters to send one out when a story breaks. Television news isn’t far behind when it comes to reduced staffs that can barely cover what breaks. The national networks also have reduced staffing. Watch as CNN has a guy in Dallas cover a story in Kansas City, for example. They don’t even have a stringer or local reporter they can call! Sure, lots of websites will still rewrite press releases they receive, and can publish tips that come in, but who’s going to do the digging to verify facts or interview people at the scene when an actual hard news story breaks or continues to unfold?

 

Newspapers need–right now- -to figure out a way to combine electronic subscriptions and mobile and web advertising in a manner that will support their news operations and make a profit or they will go away. When? A lot of observers think in the next 5 to 10 years. If you value knowing what’s going on in your neighborhood, city, and the world, you should be very concerned.

 

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