The death of newspapers

s-chicago-tribune-largeBy Stephen Rhodes

The Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20% of its newsroom staff in yet another bid to reduce expenses amid continuing advertising declines, Huffington Post reported yesterday.

The expected cuts are the latest attempt to reduce expenses at the paper, whose parent Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in December.

The declining economy has accelerated the demise of newspapers, which rely on advertising revenue to pay the bills.

One of my Twitter friends Todd Defren of Shift Communications, conducted an informal poll in Twitterland about the state of the newpaper industry. “Hardly any of ’em seemed to care about the Death of Newspapers,” he says in a recent blog post.

Todd says you might expect the Twitter Universe to be digitally biased, however, “the majority of respondents to my anecdotal survey were very anxious about the fate of Journalism.”

“Everyone sees a need for unbiased, investigative journalism.  They just don’t care about the format.  And regardless of the format, they don’t seem to want to pay for it,” says Todd.

Our insatiable need for information has spawned gavel to gavel television news, in the moment streaming RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter. No one depends on newspapers for breaking news anymore but newspapers are better at providing detailed coverage and  investigative journalism.

Newspapers have been in transition for some time. The economy is accelerating the process from print to online delivery. In the interim there will be a culling and some titles won’t survive.

In many smaller communities, the newspaper is still the primary source of local news. The online service has either not yet developed or is not yet sophisticated enough to replace the local news coverage in the community newspaper. It will happen.

The common denominator here is the journalist.  The success of these online services, and their ability to grow revenue, will depend on the quality of the content they provide.

Do you still read newspapers? Do you subscribe to an online news service? I am interested in your viewpoint.

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1 Comment

Filed under Media, Stephen Rhodes

One response to “The death of newspapers

  1. Problem is, who will pay for the new journalism? And it’s a joke that so many bloggers advocating the death of newspapers actually get theor subject matter frmo mainstream media … Hmmmnnn …

    Cheers for the post.

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