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Internet is Killing the Newspaper 397

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the print-is-dead dept.
jose parinas writes "MediaDailyNews is reporting that 2005 will go down as one of the worst newspaper years in history, and 2006 doesn't look promising. Online media is continuously generating more readership and ad dollars, but currently only accounts for 5% of total newspaper revenues."
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Internet is Killing the Newspaper

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  • What do you expect? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rscoggin (845029) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:26PM (#13920392) Homepage
    Does it really matter? Most newspapers offer much (if not all) of their content online. All that matters is ad revenue, and they can even get around the cost of printing and distribution if they publish to the web. I see a transition, not a death.
    • I wish it were a transition. These guys are dying. The reason is simple, they will not server their customers. They continue to publish crappy articles usually against any decent enterprise and as such lose their readers daily. More and more they have become ads only. I can search ads without these turkeys.

      • by ctr2sprt (574731) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @01:40AM (#13921343)
        They won't all die, just the bad ones. Which is, frankly, fine by me. After ten years of reading nothing but The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe (sports section), and The New York Times, I can't stand anything else. The writing is just so abysmally poor that I throw the paper down in disgust ten seconds after picking it up.

        Quality stuff will always survive in some form. I'm least worried about the WSJ, which is probably the smallest of the three papers I read. As you'd expect from a business-oriented newspaper, they got their business model straight from the get-go, and they've done very well with it - as of 2002, they were the most popular subscription service on the Internet.

        - Obviously a happy subscriber to WSJ.com, but nothing more.

      • The reason is simple, they will not server their customers. They continue to publish crappy articles usually against any decent enterprise and as such lose their readers daily.

        It's not so much that the articles are crappy (although they often are), it's that the newspapers publishers do not grok the internets. It's the "horseless carriage" mentality, but now it's "online newspaper". Ask yourself why would a newspaper post one single picture of an event on it's website? The answer: because it's expensive to
    • by Yehooti (816574)
      Was the time, recently actually, when I had to start my day with the newspaper. Too many late deliveries, and I discovered that with my laptop, I could still sit on the throne in the morning and read the latest news. Out went the paper (that part anyway). They still bug me regularly to subscribe again, but not a chance.
    • Death for some... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fireboy1919 (257783)
      I see a transition, not a death.

      I live in Orlando, Florida. The local newspaper is called the Orlando Sentinel, a.k.a. the Slantinel. Their agenda-pushing sometimes makes our mud-slinging presidential candidates seem mild. In an internet full of freedom of choice, the Sentinel will most likely lose. People read it just because it's really the only local paper we've got.

      When everyone gets all their written news online, it'll die because it's so bad. I doubt it will be the only paper like this, and I dou
      • Re:Death for some... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by plover (150551) * on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @12:11AM (#13920932) Homepage Journal
        The thing is, with the loss of local diversity the world will end up with just a few giant news organizations, and there won't be anyone left to investigate the local news. Sure, much of their news is already syndicated so you're already reading a lot of national feeds, but if the Slantinel goes away, who is going to report any local news at all? Do you think Reuters will hire a full-time Orlando reporter? The Associated Press?

        They may be slanted but at least they're focused on news that's important to you. (And while they exist, you can at least pretend that someday they might investigate Hollings for his Mouske-ties.)

        • Re:Death for some... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cbr2702 (750255)
          Perhaps people would go to local blogs for the information?

        • Then some new wave of local news bloggers will form a syndicate that borrows from blogging and wiki technologies. There will be a demand for a single site that can link you to people reporting on news in your area and that demand will be filled.

          It's not hard to imagine that someone would report local news as a hobby and as a community service and even make some money by having their local hardware store sponsor them. The golden rule in blogging is to find a niche and dominate it, so this news form would a
        • What The Washington Post did was create a co-publication called "Express" that's targeted at subway commuters:

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/express/ [washingtonpost.com]

          It's a small free newspaper, containing only brief news stories. It's got all the sections of a normal paper Top Stories, World, Local, Classifieds, Entertainment, and puzzles. But it's a mini-newspaper about half the physical size of a normal one so it's more suitable for reading on a crowded train. I can usually read everything on my way to work, and
        • by robertjw (728654)
          The thing is, with the loss of local diversity the world will end up with just a few giant news organizations, and there won't be anyone left to investigate the local news.

          Here's a newsflash. This has already happened. Many newspapers in the US are owned by big companies that own multiple papers. Same thing with radio stations. I live in Colorado and even the two big Denver papers, The Denver Post and The Rocky Mountain News, are owned by the same company. I hope that the death of the newspaper will
    • by tlyons (927432)
      I think there are a few reasons newspapers' decline does matter: 1) Sure, the paper editions are being replaced by websites run by the same publishers. But the ad rates are way, way lower online, and no paper has yet shown how to create enough of a revenue stream from online ads to fund the operations of the newspaper. I can't see any developments on the horizon that will make online ads pay all that much more than they do now. The Wall Street Journal is making it work, but with a (pricy) subscription.
  • by Enzo the Baker (822444) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:27PM (#13920393)
    does this result in people being more or less informed? Or are people fooling themselves if they believe that they are well informed by either source?
    • I'd say people end up being far more informed. Major newspapers will never present worthwhile news, because it is too costly for them. They most likely will not report on the misdeeds of major advertisers. Likewise, in America especially, if they question the administration they'll immediately lose their press access. Thus all they can do is put out bullshit, and hope that people continue to buy their papers. But it looks like people are catching on, and thus people aren't buying their papers.

      Then again, ma
      • by letchhausen (95030) <letchhausenNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:00PM (#13920599) Homepage
        On the one hand I think that the idea that bad information can have good results is pretty rose-tinted to say the least. On the other hand the internet has consolidated access to alternative media which is a good thing and can lead to a more informed populace. Of course the internet is full of the same slanted and opinionated crap that you see everywhere else so it can lead to an utterly mis-informed populace. And your statements about the mainstream media are pretty spot on, of course since I would tend to read those online I don't really see a difference there in medium. Same lies different venue. In the end one can get the inside scoop from either Rush Limbaugh's blog or Al Franken's depending on the already formed predilections. Or better yet, CowboyNeal's.......
      • by Rayonic (462789) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:48PM (#13920848) Homepage Journal
        Likewise, in America especially, if they question the administration they'll immediately lose their press access.

        The New York Times and the Washington Post have lost their press access?

        Or did you mean that both papers have never been critical of the current administration?
      • They most likely will not report on the misdeeds of major advertisers. Likewise, in America especially, if they question the administration they'll immediately lose their press access.

        Quick, replace your tin foil hat! The foil taped over the window is coming loose! The spy satellites are going for your rectal implants!
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:51PM (#13920537)
      Traditionally, the newspapers were there to deliver news. Now by the time people read stuff in the papaers they have already been exposed to TV, radio and cnn.com. Therefor newspapers look more and more to providing alternative commentary. Essentially they're getting more and more like weekly womens' magazines but targeted towards a wider audience.

      Already TV news is less about news and more about entertainment. The paper is getting more like that too. There are so many media channels etc competing for peoples free time (== entertainment time) that the news has to be entertaining and gripping rather than factual.

      • by DennyK (308810) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @12:51AM (#13921119)
        The only chance newspapers have of surviving is to provide some sort of "alternative commentary". Open a typical newspaper today, and what do you see? A bunch of national news, most of it compiled or simply copied directly from the wire services, and maybe a couple of local interest articles. Much of their content just covers the four Ws (who, what, when, where) and stops there. That was a fine approach a decade ago when newspapers would be the most up-to-date news source that most people had access to, aside from television and radio newscasts which usually provide even less detail. However, it just doesn't work today. Why am I going to pay a good chunk of money every month for a newspaper that consists mostly of ads and stuff from the AP or Reuters that I already read word-for-word on CNN.com the day before?

        Basically, newspapers are going to have to provide something besides stale wire reports and three-paragraph news articles. More focus on local news and issues would be a start. Forget the national news; most people already get that from other sources long before it's published in a newspaper. Stick with the local stuff, the things people won't find anywhere except their hometown paper. If you are going to cover a national news story, go beyond the four Ws. Have your reporters do some more in-depth analysis or investigation. Basically, give people something they can't find ten thousand identical copies of at news.google.com.
    • At the end of the day everything is only a collective hunch, and if you are trusting an editor to determine what you will read I don't think you will be less aware of the major issues.

      Informed by which metric? Shouldn't the government radio address be all I need?
      Newspapers only print a particular set of wires, and they primarily exist to make advertising money. This is not concordant with my interests, so for me they are less informative.

      I had an inane Toronto Star telemarketer yell at me once. I told h
    • by codemangler (811903) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:21PM (#13920717)
      Newspapers are cutting staff left and right. That means fewer reporters producing fewer stories, and that means fewer reasons for people to buy newspapers. Which will force even more downsizing.

      What's worse is the effect this will have on all media. TV and radio stations already have very slim news staffs. They rely on newspaper stories as the starting point for many of their own stories. As do magazines. And this will affect blogs as well, as they usually write about what's been published elsewhere.

      News starts with reporters, and most of them work for newspapers.

      More people might prefer to read their news on the Internet, but with newspapers declining, there simply won't be as many stories to read.
      • More people might prefer to read their news on the Internet, but with newspapers declining, there simply won't be as many stories to read.

        Do you seriously believe that people all of a sudden lose interest in what's going on in the world and in their community just because some highly paid NYT reporter is laid off from his cushy job? Because photographs are made with $200 digicams by amateurs, instead of $8000 SLR cameras wielded by Pulitzer-prize hungry press photographers trying to find the artistically m
    • The last 5 years have seen all the media here become totally none critical of politicians. Prior to 9/11, the media would actually research and the print interesting news about the national and local politicians. Now, I have found that Al Jazeera/BBC does a better job of reporting on our national stuff than does Denver Post and Rocky mountain news (with Al Jazeera you have to treat it like Old Pravda/ Current fox news and be careful of propoganda). Sad state of affairs.
  • Immediate Access (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dduardo (592868) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:27PM (#13920394)
    Why would I pay for yesterday's news? The internet and televsion are giving me immediate access to news which makes newspapers somewhat obsolete.
    • It's why I don't buy magazines anymore. I find that they just cannot stay relevant because internet sources of the same information are immediately available. I might browse the odd one if i'm bored but that is about it.
    • by gardyloo (512791) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:52PM (#13920547)
      Why would I pay for yesterday's news?

            Yeah! And on some special websites, you can read the same news several days in a row! Sometimes after months!
    • by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:08PM (#13920649) Homepage Journal
      Still, I do enjoy sitting on the back porch in the morning with a newspaper in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. The Internet is way too heavy to read on the back porch.
    • Re:Immediate Access (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:18PM (#13920702) Homepage Journal
      I think there needs to be some work on formatting and ads.
      The formatting of news web sites seem to leave a lot to be desired. For one, look at CNN.com, for any given page, the actual article is less than 1/4th of the page, the rest is split between an asinine site navigation system and ads.

      Ads in a newspaper aren't anywhere nearly as intrusive as on the Internet. No newspaper ad bounces, flash, shake, spin, spawns popups or any crap like that. Newspaper ads don't try to leave cookies, tracks IP or otherwise grab and store information without telling me. I block all that stuff, but it's still a surprise when I use other computers.
    • by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:19PM (#13920704) Homepage
      Depth and medium.

      Television is no substitute for a newspaper, at least not if the newpapers were doing their jobs correctly. TV news simply doesn't get you the depth that you get in a newspaper. Part of that is due to the nature of the medium and part of it is because the people producing news programs are more interested in flash than in content. (Yes, I know it's because that's what sells. Consumers are generally dumb and the TV folks are happy to go that route rather to trying to be decent journalists.)

      The internet is a good substitute, provided you are smart enough to read reputable sources. (In other words, the same basic people as the ones who print newspapers, only putting the text online instead.) But that doesn't seem to be the draw away from the printed papers. Also, I (and many others) would much rather read a physical piece of paper than a computer screen. I work at a computer 9+ hours a day, typically, but I hate reading significant stretches of text off that screen. I prefer something solid. I can't really articulate why, but I just can't manage the computer screen well.
    • You're not just paying for the news, you're paying for journalism: investigation, analysis, and leg work. These are the things that make news worth while. Mind you, this happens with reducing frequency, but it's a nice idea.
    • Re:Immediate Access (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sootman (158191) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:32PM (#13920780) Homepage Journal
      I pay $40/year for my local Sunday paper, mostly for the ads. I buy enough gadgets through the year that the paper pays for itself a few times over. (I buy things when the price is good, and the occasional great sale means I can get a hard drive or whatever for less than I could online. Plus: no shipping, easier returns, see it in person before I buy it, get it the same day, etc etc etc.)

      That said, I always end up finding a few things to read and usually wind up spending a couple hours with it. It's quiet and calm and a nice change not to be sitting up looking at a screen for another couple hours. Sure, it may not be great for up-to-the-second news, but I don't care about that anyway. There's always some neat articles about local stuff, vacations, homes, etc. Browsing slashdot and the rest gets old after a while and it's a nice change of pace to find some unexpected neat thing that *doesn't* have to do with technology, Google, MS, Apple, or My Rights Online--and to do it in a nice, quiet, analog fashion.

      Oh yeah, one other great thing about newspapers: no animated ads. :-)
  • by rtphokie (518490) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:28PM (#13920399)
    Yet I read a lot more of them. I dont think I'm in the minority either. The local paper is the only way I get local news anymore. The local TV news is so inane I cant take it.
  • by Cheapy (809643) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:28PM (#13920401)
    Maybe it's simply apathy for the news? I'm constantly amazed at how clueless people are towards the current events of the day. If the internet is to blame, surely SOME people would know of events going on?
    • in my case, I have a hard time watching/reading any political news, due to it PISSING ME OFF with all the BULLSHIT that occurs all the time, with nothing much I can do about it. Even though I still read/watch it every now and the, my point is that im not so much apathetic as frustrated with many world events, it stresses me out too much worrying about it, so i tend to avoid it. Even so, since im basically a net addict, I still know a lot more of whats going on than most other people I know (and definately
  • Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bleckywelcky (518520)
    The only people who read newspapers regularly are those who have made a habit out of it their entire life. I still catch the paper once in a while if it looks like they might have an interesting article. But for all your current news, the newspaper is a day late and $0.50 too expensive. Why pay for info that I can get from my computer for free? Unless it is very locally specific news.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Informative)

      by jangobongo (812593)
      I live in the Phoenix area which is served by the Arizona Republic. Their excellent online version [azcentral.com] carries all the same stories that the print one does.

      I just set my Yahoo RSS reader to list their news, business, community, and offbeat sections and it gives me the top ten stories for each main section of the paper (at least, the ones that I'm interested in). I can scan the headlines and brief intro to see if I would like to read more in depth and I find much more relevant local news that way. I never wast
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:11PM (#13920664) Journal
      Why pay for info that I can get from my computer for free?

      Simple. Because you can read it while you're waiting for or sitting on the bus. I wouldn't be suprised to discover public transit to be the number one motivation behind newspaper sales.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pomo monster (873962)
      Well, for one thing, if you're trapped in a crush of strangers on a downtown train 8 a.m. Monday morning, you'll have an easier time burying your head in A.M. New York than trying to fold your WiFi-equipped laptop over your face. And plenty of people just plain hate reading text onscreen, what with the terrible resolution and contrast inferior even to newsprint. There's always the convenience and superior presentation that makes print an attractive choice.

      That said, as internet delivery matures, it'll no lo
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:29PM (#13920411)
    Truly, it is the newspapers who are killing themselves. Why is that? Because the quality of the reporting has dropped off substantially.

    Take the New York Times. Between that Blair guy and now Miller, they've been shown to be nothing but a hack paper. Any newspaper that did not immediately point out the numerous lies of so many British and American politicians with regards to the ongoing war in Iraq falls into the same boat.

    Intelligent people aren't going to pay money for ads and bullshit stories. And it's intelligent people who tend to read newspapers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Intelligent people aren't going to pay money for ads and bullshit stories. And it's intelligent people who tend to read newspapers.

      Really? A typical story is probably written at a reading level to accomodate a 10 year old. The intelligent people forego the shallow drivel of the syndicated press and get the information as close to the source as possible. Which would you rather read, the science and tech section of your local rag, or the links directly to the trade publications and institutions that you fin

      • Most people don't have the time nor the resources to subscribe to multiple scientific/specialty journals, nor do they have time to attend parliament on a daily basis, or even to read the parliamentary transcripts.

        That said, that's no excuse for newspapers to report blatantly false information. Going back to the example of the Iraqi invasion, every newspaper of any credibility should have torn Powell's UN presentation to pieces. It has nothing to do with politics. It just has to do with the fact that they're
    • "Intelligent people aren't going to pay money for ads and bullshit stories. And it's intelligent people who tend to read newspapers."

      Wow, another /. stereotype that's wrong, go figure. Either you have a different definition of intelligent or you simply don't know that newspapers are by and large written for a 5th-6th grade reading and comperhension level.
    • Hear, hear, and a insightful mod to that post.

      However, the lousy quality of the reporting isn't the only thing that's killing the newspapers. I think that they are in a death trap of reader selectivity. Since most people only believe what they want to believe, do you really expect them to pay to read other stuff, too? From that perspective, it's only natural for the Internet to slaughter the newspapers. Not just because the Web is faster and cheaper, but because search engines make it easy to find the stu

    • So where do you get your news, Indymedia? Please.

      If it's a balanced and comprehensive understanding of current issues you want, it's a mistake to rely on any one source of news, any one perspective--if only because people will attack you for your choice. For the record, I'll spend my time flipping between the NY Times, the Economist, Salon, the Village Voice, the NY Observer, NewsMax, CNN, and Fox News, and I find that's a salad that works for me. But no matter what you're reading, approach your sources cri
      • I get all my news from a mix of Slashdot, Fark, and a selection of blogs written by 19 year old college coeds. Can't say I'm all that well informed, exactly, but the webcams keep me happy.
      • it's a mistake to rely on any one source of news

        I agree whole-heartedly!

        Of course, this is an observation that is new to the "mainstream" of our generation. Many people in my parent's generation would only "trust" one source. Indeed, most television news programs and newspapers still advertise themselves today as "your most trusted news source" as if it is a good thing to only focus on one!

        I feel this is a reflection on our increased education, more than it is about the internet, or even the qualit

  • Efficiency (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jesus IS the Devil (317662) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:31PM (#13920421)
    The world gravitates toward efficiency. Instant delivery, little cost, up-to-date. How can newspapers compete?

    Yellow pages are dying horrible deaths too, and I'm loving every minute of it. Just look at how these online yellow pages are trying to force ads and sponsored listings on the first page, making it ridiculously difficult to get local results you really want. Then look at how quickly you can find something via a search engine.
    • Re:Efficiency (Score:5, Insightful)

      by prockcore (543967) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:38PM (#13920460)
      Instant delivery, little cost, up-to-date. How can newspapers compete?

      Investigative reporting. That's still where the newspaper outpaces all other forms of news.

      The hardcopy might go away, but newspapers have their own websites.

      • Investigative reporting. That's still where the newspaper outpaces all other forms of news.

        The hardcopy might go away, but newspapers have their own websites.


        You mean getting second hand information, publishing it as the truth and publishing a very small retraction when your severely wrong?
      • Re:Efficiency (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CyricZ (887944)
        Investigative reporting. That's still where the newspaper outpaces all other forms of news.

        Except that they don't do that now, and probably won't in the future. Doing so to a professional degree would certainly cause severe annoyance to various advertisers and politicians. Soon enough ad space isn't bought, and press credentials are revoked. Then they're really fucked.

        • Re:Efficiency (Score:3, Insightful)

          by prockcore (543967)
          Except that they don't do that now, and probably won't in the future.

          While there certainly is less and less investigative reporting (much to my dismay, reporting current events is something for the AP wire), it does still exist.

          I can think of two recent examples from my local paper alone. One is how DHS lied about how many people die crossing the border and how their numbers don't match up with the actual recorded deaths. Congress actually ended up using the newspaper's database to show how DHS was playin
  • Now he reads several papers a day. It's a lot easier and faster to scan the paper for articles you're interested in on a website than flipping through a few papers. And the ads on the website can be just as effective as the ones in the paper if done right.
  • ... sucks. What sort of reading is it if I cant even grep.
  • Giveaways (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tooth (111958)
    This is why the major papers in .au always give away "free" stuff with their weekend papers. The latest trend is Music CDs.
  • by Audent (35893) <audentNO@SPAMilovebiscuits.com> on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:36PM (#13920448) Homepage
    Here at Computerworld New Zealand we have both a paper edition (weekly) and a daily online service http://www.computerworld.co.nz/ [computerworld.co.nz] and I like to think they serve different readers in different ways.

    Take a breaking news story (HP buys Compaq is my favourite example). We ran a BREAKING NEWS thing on the site immediately. We ran a follow-up story later that day with industry reaction (such as it was) also online. The next morning we had the customer comments/expectations story online, while most daily newspapers here were only just running the equivalent of our first story.

    By the time our weekly print edition came out we had a full round-up of comment locally plus international expectations etc for a more rounded view.

    That's the best approach I feel. Break news online (with attendant email alerts, SMS alerts or whatever you've got going) with more detailed relfective stuff in print.

    This isn't new - print had to cope with radio beating it to news and TV (film at eleven!) doing what we couldn't do. What print does well is take a step back and offer a critical analytical assessment. In depth stuff. Well, that's what print SHOULD do well.

    The two aren't mutually exclusive - print and online can co-exist quite nicely thank you. You add immediacy to your print edition with online. You add depth to your online edition through print. Different readers are served in different ways.
    • by globalar (669767) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:27PM (#13920753) Homepage
      Exactly. The key is editing, summary, and analysis. We should also add investigation, when that still happens.

      The Internet is great for instant information, opinions, and huge amounts of both. But it is very spotty when it comes to analysis, SNR, and summary. Typically, it takes a little time for information to be properly filtered and recommunicated. This delay allows print publications time to catch up and this material can still be placed on the web later. Fundamentally, the act of publication forces information to be cut down, crap to be thrown out, and resources to be focused. There are papers that do this well and some that do it very poorly.

      An excellent example is the Economist. I can find virtually every piece of information from that publication through some other channel before the print edition hits a stand. I do not, however, have the time to summarize, anaylze, and edit as the Economist does. Nothing in that publication is revolutionary or, in fact, beyond what I could generate. But it saves me countless hours of research.
  • Yep (Score:2, Funny)

    I get all of my news from blogs, and I haven't looked at a single thing in print since Web 2.0 came out.
  • Three uses (Score:2, Funny)

    by tomstdenis (446163)
    1. Look smart in airport

    2. Cover head in rain

    3. It's better than nothing when you run out of TP.

    **stop cutting down trees for what ammounts to voyeurism and blatant stupidity!***

    Tom
  • If it kills the New York Times, then it's a good thing. They've been too full of themselves for far too long and I wouldn't miss them at all.

    [/opinion]
  • Once they get web-enabled terminals in bathroom stalls (it will happen!), then there will be another big drop in newspaper subscriptions.

    I read the paper regularly (no pun intended), but only because I'm something of a captive audience, and the paper is just right there...
  • Unless of course, it is dead too.
  • Same old song (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theantipop (803016) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:43PM (#13920490)
    Video killed the radio star, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A more creative title might have been, "Internet killed the Daily Star".
  • by jbarr (2233) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:45PM (#13920507) Homepage
    OK, I'm certainly no economist, but so what? The article says that the growth is flat. Companies and industries that expect constant growth are kidding themselves. There are bound to be flat and negative growth periods in all industries. Maybe it's time that they start looking for better innovation like, oh, I don't know, real reporting instead of the biased, sensationalistic, editorial spin that has crept in over the last couple decades. It used to be that news was reported, not opinionated and editorialized at every chance. I would take printed news (or any news for that matter) a lot more seriously if it gave the facts instead of trying to sway me.
    • Indeed, the death is greatly exaggerated. "Worst year ever" for flat growth? That's nuts, what a greedy bunch. No wonder many online newspapers are so stuffed with useless adverts. I've got news for them, don't do it because I've got my choices across the globe for news.

      My first thought was, where's the money going? If the paper revenue is shrinking, the online advertisement market should pick up, within margins of waste reduction. The eyeballs and wallets behind them should be worth the same amount

    • Correction: it never used to be that news was not opinionated, it simply used to be that no one noticed. The professionalism of journalism was the biggest hoax of the twentieth century, the last thing newspapers should do is seek a return.
  • Newspapers have to evolve into part newspaper part website to stay current. Also they need content like blogs or other parts for them to be attractive to people who view news.
  • As they are, newspapers rely on two sources of revenue: direct sale and advertising sponsorship. With the advent of the Internet, information is free -- and newspapers, in order to remain relevant, must offer their articles for the same price or risk the certainty of readers going to a free competitor.

    Unfortunately, doing so completely wipes out their subscription base. And I doubt advertising alone will be enough to sustain high-end staffs such as (despite an earlier criticism of the paper in this fee
  • or are cable tv news and radio the real culprit? both of those are growing. Via cable tv I get news from around the globe, very different view than U.S. media. Radio is still hot after all these years because we still drive & any media more involved would likely make us crash.
  • ... are we supposed to put in our bird cages? Huh? HUH!?

    See, nobody thinks of these things before they haul off and invent something like teh interweb.

    What are we supposed to do with all this bird poop?

    Oh, wait - there's plenty of blogs to fill. Never mind.
  • Less newspapers printed, the less trees are wasted...
  • the recent introduction of the car has caused many buggy-manufacturers to loose buisness.
  • by CatOne (655161) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:03PM (#13920610)
    I would think stuff like Craig's List would slaughter it. So much more dynamic, so much easier to get the word out (and very effectively in large markets like the SF Bay Area -- not sure how good it is elsewhere)... and FREE.

    There are times I think a newspaper is great -- on a train, on an airplane, or when I want to sit outside in the sun with a cup of coffee. So for relaxing news delivery. But most of the time, web sites (or, even better, RSS feeds) are just so much more timely. And with RSS, I can get the headlines from a few sources, so when one site cock-blocks me by invalidating my BugMeNot login (cough, FY NYT!), I can read the article elsewhere, or just be content with the title.
  • I've never been one to read the newspaper regularly anyway; however, if I had nothing to do and a paper was around, I would happily read it since I find that reading anything is better than TV, twiddling thumbs, or sitting quietly with a dumb look on my face. Yes, the news is old (so it's not news, exactly), but it's supposed to go more in-depth than TV news can. Friends and family tell me that newspaper reporters have gotten bland, and at times liberal opinion makes it into stories that are supposed to r
  • Dead Tree Edition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MDMurphy (208495) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:08PM (#13920645)
    Newspapers can still be around, they just need to evolve. They've got the reporters and researchers, so they're in a good position for reporting detailed stories with more depth than TV can do in a 30 second blurb. Seeing a story in the conext of previous weeks or months of background articles is also easier with text than dozens of clips of newspeople reading short snippets on-air.

    It's the dead tree versions that don't make as much sense. Lots of people don't want yesterday's news. But no reason that a well written newspaper can't write a web version just as well.

    And the thick Sunday version with the sale ads and magazines are still popular. So they don't need to retire the presses. But basing your entire business model around delivering paper to porches, yeah, that'd dead.
  • I get the Denver Post every morning and I read the paper. But the "news" is a single column or one and a half of each page. The rest are ads. Sometimes there are a couple of pages of ads (to offset the front pages full of news). Even the comics are mostly inane and unfunny (with a few exceptions; zits, sherman's lagoon, and a few others).

    Then I read the news reading some of the interesting bits. Then I research the data on-line and see that it's just part of the story. I feel bad for the people who just rea
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:21PM (#13920719) Homepage
    No.

    Radio threatened the Newspaper and took it's lunch money.

    Broadcast TV beat it up.

    Cable News kicked it while it was down (and then beat it up some more)

    The internet is just finishing the job. The Newspaper has been killed by 3 previous mediums, and now a fourth is doing it. Newspapers will never go away, but they will never be what they were in before the 1950s again. As others have pointed out, Newspapers aren't what they used to be as the quality has declined and they are trying to more and more like gossip rags and 24 hour news channels which get printed once per day. Solid investigative reporting would keep them alive easily, instead we get AP wire reprints (which I already heard summarized on the radio and saw analyzed on TV). Now I can cut out the middle man and read these things off the wire online. Why do I need the paper for that.

    And with wire stories like "New flash: President says he will name a new supreme court nominee at some point in the future" (there was one somewhat like that recently), I can't say much for their reporting.

    Papers need to reorganize themselves and the kind of things they write/print if they want to become anything more than another local magazine. I'm sorry, but Newspapers are not in a good state right not (then again, neither is TV news).

    The NYT is not "the paper of record" anymore, Edward R. Morrow and Walter Cronkite are gone from the in front of the camera. The entire news industry seems to be in a major crisis. They lost sight of reporting by realizing that they could just be the first to tell you something. 24 hour news channels hastened that problem. The internet and cell phones have taken it to it's logical conclusion.

    I hope this all turns out well in a few years. I was getting mad at many of the magazines I used to love (gamer and computer magazines including GamePro, Nintendo Power, EGM, PC World, etc.) have fallen into the same trap so I've stopped reading most of them (I can get that info online for free, faster). I recently started reading a good magazine full of intelligent, insightful, and well researched articles: Forbes (yeah, different genre of magazines, but still). Newspapers (and TV news) need to go back to the same thing. They are all in a format of "Let's take that 1 minute news summary we did at the top of the hour and try to stretch it to 30 minutes" kind of "journalism", merged with "infotaiment" like Entertainment Tonight into one large affront to the intelligence of everyone.

    I hope things turn out well. In the mean time, I will just continue to avoid more and more news sources as they get worse and worse. Some are still good. NPR had FANTASTIC, JOURNALISTIC coverage and analysis of Justice Robert's hearings. I learned a TON about the process and many other things by listening to their clips of the questioning with intelligent analysis and explanations. They're not always perfect, but they are one of the few left who even seem to try.

  • We could actually believe half of what the mass media says. And you know, the whole paperless system is a good thing. Not like we don't already cut down enough trees as it is.
  • I would be surprised if my yet-to-be-conceived children approach me with utter disbelief one day, saying, "You mean people actually used to have the news printed on a piece of paper and delivered by another human being to their doorstep each morning?"
  • Things change. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:25PM (#13920747) Journal
    In other news, whale-oil lamp makers reported another year of disappointing revenues.

    -jcr

  • by Ranger (1783) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:38PM (#13920804) Homepage
    "Internet Killed the Newspaper" doesn't have quite the same ring as "Video Killed the Radio Star." Of course newspaper will always have one advantage the Internet does not. You can always wipe your ass with it when you run out of toilet paper. Try that with a monitor.
  • by pseudosocrates (601092) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:41PM (#13920814)
    Like many here no doubt, concurrent with pouring my morning coffee I check several sites. bbc.co.uk, theweathernetwork.com and football365.com. This gives me the means to decide if I should leave the house - if there's nuclear war, a hurricane or if City have lost I may well not do.

    That said, I read a paper newspaper daily. The Metro (metronews.ca) is a free (ad-supported) newspaper that offers me as much news as I can read daily - 45 minutes on the way to work - with less ads than the major (not-free) dailies. Ok the journalism may not be as highbrow and neutral as such publications as the WSJ (US), the Times (UK) or the Globe (CA) [/irony], but frankly I am capable of researching a story if something catches my eye. And it has a crossword and sudoku. It also focuses on the one aspect of news that is not well covered online which is my local (down to what happens on my street) news.

    The paper is not dead, nor will it be for the forseeable future, but the industry is undergoing (albeit more quietly) the same changes as the other major media - music and tv/film, and they need to find a new business model that can compete with the technological and revenue changes of the day.

    The metro has a readership of over 400,000 of Toronto's 20-35 (read disposable income) population. This is the kind of targeted marketing that Google is milking vast VC on right now. National bloatpapers may have had their day but the print-paper industry is far from dead. They just need to wake up.

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with any news dissemination organ, be it online, tree-based or otherwise
  • Epic 2014 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Headcase88 (828620) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:54PM (#13920870) Journal
    Haven't seen this flash [makingithappen.co.uk]? You should... it's fun to watch.
  • by sinewalker (686056) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @12:54AM (#13921136) Homepage
    Why does "mainstream media" think blogging is such a huge hit? It's not that Internet is immediate, or that anyone can do it (which has big down-sides as well as it's egalitarian advantages). It is simply that people everywhere are fed-up with WWII-era propagandists telling us what to believe and have started researching it for themselves.

    This is the Information Revolution: the Revolution is greatly improved access to the information. People are more educated now than they were 50 or even 20 years ago and can make informed judgements. They don't need some "journalist" to do it for them. This is quite appart form the fact that today's journalism is extremely poor compared to yester-year's.

    I don't buy papers because I know that I can't trust them to bring me news in an unbiased, non-politically or commercially influenced fashion, or full of Tabloid rubbish like British newspapers. I accept the risk that the news I learn via the Net can be from the "uninformed" masses and mitigate this by using many sources so I can judge for myself where the "truth" may lay.

    I won't even read over people's shoulders anymore.

    For at least the last 10 years, newspapers have been good for only one thing: the ink used in newspaper presses is fantastic for removing streaks and smudges from my computer monitor!
  • Sad but True? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hosiah (849792) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @03:06AM (#13921661)
    I know for me, the internet is killing newspapers, and magazines, too, for that matter. The only thing I still do is read the papers I get for free (your local free-press Cityview-type papers), mainly because I can't take the internet with me to the john. But I really miss the Scientific American, Smithsonian, and US News & World Report I used to subscribe to. I simply didn't renew them when I moved, and it makes no sense to get them now, because I can see it all for free online. But I sometimes miss having those handsome rags lined up on the coffee table.

    Come to that, the internet is trumping *every* other media source when it comes to raw news. I can't Google search for related terms on my cable box. I can't run a Truth-or-Fiction fact check on a radio. People will tell me something they saw in the paper, and I'll say, "Oh, yeah, that was on [insert one of 20 news-sites here] yesterday!" In the age of RSS-feeds, plus a shell script I wrote to scrape them all, it's getting to be the next best thing to being psychic. In fact, even my library card usage is down - but I've downloaded and hoarded a slew of E-books!

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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