A good three decades before the newspaper industry began blaming its declining fortunes on the Web, the iPod, and game machines, it knew it was in huge trouble.I worked at a good, 100,000-circulation daily newspaper from 1986 to 1993, and throughout that time, my peers and I had endless conversations about all the ways our newspaper, and every newspaper, needed to change: completely overhauling the outdated beats, the arbitrary section divisions, the pointless “personal columns,” the endless grip-and-grin shots, the unreadable and, indeed, unread daily updates from the meetings of the Zoning and Sewerage Maintenance Subcommittee Boards -- all of them still staples of the daily newspaper. Newspaper owners just have been too successful and too complacent to want to change anything. And most of them still are, especially the owners of small and medium-sized newspapers -- which still tend to be cash cows, thanks to local coverage, however piddling, that Fox News and Google can't match. But their day, too, will come, if they keep sitting on their classifieds and legal notices, and doing nothing.
Monday, December 25, 2006
The decline of newspapers is old news
Those who care about newspapers should read this Jack Shafer article in Slate:
Posted by Andy Duncan at 9:39 PM