Friday, June 8, 2007

10 things minus the big one = a bankrupt future

An interesting blog post has been making the rounds lately 10 Obvious Things About the Future of Newspapers You Need to Get Through Your Head. The author makes some good points--specifically around the fact that it's neither Google's nor Craig List's fault that newspapers are suffering right now.

However, what he leaves out is how all of these changes effect the financial landscape for publishers (buried in the comments the author admits as much when he says that web ads haven't replaced the income lost from print ads) and, until that answer can be as simply and effectively stated as the rest of his list, well, the list is a bit moot.

I've said it other places but the problem with this transition from print to web isn't the skillsets of reporters, isn't whether or not RSS feeds are valid, isn't a 60-second newscycle, but instead how all this stuff gets PAID FOR. And nobody has a good answer for this. I'm convinced it's possible--I mean, hell, simply cutting out the paper and printing cost alone helps get you part of the way there--but until there's a solid solution, lists like these only treat the symptoms, not the disease.


Ryan said...

And yet, we're bleeding revenue from the print side. Print ads are plummeting, not just trending downward.

Classifieds are Over in print, judging by the percentage sales are falling.

Doing nothing solves nothing.

Creating meaningful content for a web-native generation is the first step. Shovelware ain't gonna cut it.

Sinker said...

I agree with you here, and with all your points in your list.

BUT if we can't figure out how to pay for this stuff it's going to be, in the immortal words of Han Solo, a real short trip.