Do newspapers have a shot?

Newspapers’ business model is under severe pressure. We all know that, so I wanted to find out how bad it is by going over to Silicon Valley’s hometown newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, and meeting with Mac Tully, the President and Publisher.

It was interesting to hear how the economic downturn is going and how he’s moving more and more of the newsroom over to the San Jose Mercury News’ online efforts. Plus we talk about Twitter and Facebook and a bunch of other stuff in this 16-minute interview including the role of citizen journalists alongside professional journalists.

This is the newspaper I read as a child.

Do newspapers have a shot? Does this interview change your opinions?

Comments

  1. Maybe, but they had better act fast. The industry should band together to subsidize a Kindle-like device or maybe the Kindle itself and make that the primary distribution mechanism. Also, get smarter about live news updates via SMS, Twitter or iPhone push app of some kind. Finally, incorporate more user generated content from local bloggers.

  2. Maybe, but they had better act fast. The industry should band together to subsidize a Kindle-like device or maybe the Kindle itself and make that the primary distribution mechanism. Also, get smarter about live news updates via SMS, Twitter or iPhone push app of some kind. Finally, incorporate more user generated content from local bloggers.

  3. I think they have a shot, but they have some serious fear issues to get over. News media 1.0 was controlled from the top down… that model simply doesn’t work anymore.

    Back then I think media sources were built on a foundation of control. Now, however, I think successful media sources are built on a foundation of community.

    So, in essence, MSM needs to shift to a community based model that is collaborative and inclusive instead of a centrally controlled exclusive set up.

    My two…

  4. I think they have a shot, but they have some serious fear issues to get over. News media 1.0 was controlled from the top down… that model simply doesn’t work anymore.

    Back then I think media sources were built on a foundation of control. Now, however, I think successful media sources are built on a foundation of community.

    So, in essence, MSM needs to shift to a community based model that is collaborative and inclusive instead of a centrally controlled exclusive set up.

    My two…

  5. In Australia the newspaper industry is strong and growing – the fact the US industry is under so much pressure has as much to do with there being too many newspapers as their business model failing.

    I’m 18, I read a lot of online news and subscribe to a lot of feeds, however I still enjoy reading a newspaper significantly more for finding out local news and reading about all the little things that would never make it online.

    Here in Australia I believe there is something like 2.3 newspapers per million people, in America you have around 8 point something per million. The current downsizing is just simple supply adjusting to meet shrinking demand but doesn’t necessarily mean the entire industry is doomed.

    They’ll adjust and change, just like every industry – I for one hate the idea of sifting through Twitter to find the latest news, what a joke.

  6. In Australia the newspaper industry is strong and growing – the fact the US industry is under so much pressure has as much to do with there being too many newspapers as their business model failing.

    I’m 18, I read a lot of online news and subscribe to a lot of feeds, however I still enjoy reading a newspaper significantly more for finding out local news and reading about all the little things that would never make it online.

    Here in Australia I believe there is something like 2.3 newspapers per million people, in America you have around 8 point something per million. The current downsizing is just simple supply adjusting to meet shrinking demand but doesn’t necessarily mean the entire industry is doomed.

    They’ll adjust and change, just like every industry – I for one hate the idea of sifting through Twitter to find the latest news, what a joke.

  7. Well acording to the Guardian media section teh otehr day local papers in teh uk sued to have a 30% margin and are now geting woried thatthey will only have a 10% margin which companies like Ford or GM would kill for

  8. Well acording to the Guardian media section teh otehr day local papers in teh uk sued to have a 30% margin and are now geting woried thatthey will only have a 10% margin which companies like Ford or GM would kill for

  9. what josh says sounds pretty good.

    Tho i don’t enjoy reading printed newspapers anymore. Online newspapers – and not to mention other online news services – ave totally changed my news digestion habits. Consequently I find it difficult to got back to the printed version as it’s time consuming and you have to trawl through the whole thing.

    The great irony is Josh still prefers printed newspapers and he’s 18, whereas I now prefer online newspapers and I’m 45. You’d expect that to be the other way round. (So, Josh, I’ll gladly swapped ages with you – altho mine comes with a wife, four kids and a mortgage. :) )

  10. what josh says sounds pretty good.

    Tho i don’t enjoy reading printed newspapers anymore. Online newspapers – and not to mention other online news services – ave totally changed my news digestion habits. Consequently I find it difficult to got back to the printed version as it’s time consuming and you have to trawl through the whole thing.

    The great irony is Josh still prefers printed newspapers and he’s 18, whereas I now prefer online newspapers and I’m 45. You’d expect that to be the other way round. (So, Josh, I’ll gladly swapped ages with you – altho mine comes with a wife, four kids and a mortgage. :) )

  11. Ask yourself a sci-fi question: In any futuristic TV show or movie, have you ever seen anyone read a newspaper (or book, save for one episode of Star Trek)? They read, but they don’t read from paper. The model is to supply news but have you seen paper? It’s in no one’s future vision. The sooner they start moving completely online with a different model, the faster they’ll be the first one to move entirely there.

  12. Ask yourself a sci-fi question: In any futuristic TV show or movie, have you ever seen anyone read a newspaper (or book, save for one episode of Star Trek)? They read, but they don’t read from paper. The model is to supply news but have you seen paper? It’s in no one’s future vision. The sooner they start moving completely online with a different model, the faster they’ll be the first one to move entirely there.

  13. The debate is oversimplified. Why does it have to be will newspapers die, or not? Steve Ruble predicts all tangible media will be extinct by 2014. James Gleick believes that the printed book will always have
    “value and relevance.”

    As I have blogged about, the reality will be more complicated. Chances are, technologies will emerge that will provide a solution for newspapers to have a tangible offline presence. With such technologies, we may well see the distinction between print and online blurring. Flexible electronic paper could be the disruptive technology that fills this role. (Unlike the e-paper in devices such as Kindle.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper

  14. The debate is oversimplified. Why does it have to be will newspapers die, or not? Steve Ruble predicts all tangible media will be extinct by 2014. James Gleick believes that the printed book will always have
    “value and relevance.”

    As I have blogged about, the reality will be more complicated. Chances are, technologies will emerge that will provide a solution for newspapers to have a tangible offline presence. With such technologies, we may well see the distinction between print and online blurring. Flexible electronic paper could be the disruptive technology that fills this role. (Unlike the e-paper in devices such as Kindle.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper

  15. Interestingly, I was just discussing with my wife this morning. We’ve been SJ Merc subscriber for over 20 years now and we’ve just noticed that recently they started skimming on the articles. Reduction of staff now is very apparent in the paper they produce, thin as ever.

  16. Interestingly, I was just discussing with my wife this morning. We’ve been SJ Merc subscriber for over 20 years now and we’ve just noticed that recently they started skimming on the articles. Reduction of staff now is very apparent in the paper they produce, thin as ever.

  17. Good newspapers have a shot. But, their competition is growing and they will need to learn how to adapt fast. I live in St. Louis and our local newspaper, stltoday.com, has –by many opinions– a horrible online presence. I think they are a good example of a newspaper that has gone online, but has not adapted well. And, I think they could be in a lot of trouble if big internet companies move in on their turf.

  18. Good newspapers have a shot. But, their competition is growing and they will need to learn how to adapt fast. I live in St. Louis and our local newspaper, stltoday.com, has –by many opinions– a horrible online presence. I think they are a good example of a newspaper that has gone online, but has not adapted well. And, I think they could be in a lot of trouble if big internet companies move in on their turf.

  19. Newspapers should be redefining their focus and cannot rely on old (dare I say “traditional”) forms of generating revenue. What is concerning to me is the same thing that concerns me about traditional ad/mktg/pr agencies; an unwillingness to change with the times.

    Change is not a four-letter word–Change keeps us fresh.

  20. Newspapers should be redefining their focus and cannot rely on old (dare I say “traditional”) forms of generating revenue. What is concerning to me is the same thing that concerns me about traditional ad/mktg/pr agencies; an unwillingness to change with the times.

    Change is not a four-letter word–Change keeps us fresh.

  21. It is sad to me that people are not willing to sit down and spend a few hours reading a good newspaper. ADHD seems to have infected the masses. I was chatting with a C-level executive (who leads a very large corporation) the other day and he said that he did not understand why it took so many words to convey the contents of a story. He wanted quick soundbites. “Just tell me the story quickly,” he said. CNN Headline news was all he needed.

    Well, the truth is that there is a lot of value in good, investigative journalism. Some stories take many months to develop and take a few pages to convey. If we lose papers like the NY Times and Wash Post, what are we left with? The fact is that most people are not going to read an in-depth article as they lean forward looking at the computer screen. And most bloggers do not have the resources to spend a month developing one story.

    For the future of the US (and the world) it is imperative that we are an informed society. The apathy and celebrated ignorance in today’s anti “elitist” culture is terrible. (for more on this topic, check out Susan Jacoby’s book: http://tinyurl.com/5zq3xz).

    It is frankly shocking to me to see thought leaders like Steve Rubel celebrating the upcoming death of the printed word. It is even worse when said prognosticator works for a firm who has spread the message of their clients through fake online journalism (see Walmart flogs).

    Instead of the government bailing out the auto industry, we should be conducting a citizens’ bailout of the print newspaper industry by subscribing to our local papers or by picking up a copy at our nearest newsstand.

  22. It is sad to me that people are not willing to sit down and spend a few hours reading a good newspaper. ADHD seems to have infected the masses. I was chatting with a C-level executive (who leads a very large corporation) the other day and he said that he did not understand why it took so many words to convey the contents of a story. He wanted quick soundbites. “Just tell me the story quickly,” he said. CNN Headline news was all he needed.

    Well, the truth is that there is a lot of value in good, investigative journalism. Some stories take many months to develop and take a few pages to convey. If we lose papers like the NY Times and Wash Post, what are we left with? The fact is that most people are not going to read an in-depth article as they lean forward looking at the computer screen. And most bloggers do not have the resources to spend a month developing one story.

    For the future of the US (and the world) it is imperative that we are an informed society. The apathy and celebrated ignorance in today’s anti “elitist” culture is terrible. (for more on this topic, check out Susan Jacoby’s book: http://tinyurl.com/5zq3xz).

    It is frankly shocking to me to see thought leaders like Steve Rubel celebrating the upcoming death of the printed word. It is even worse when said prognosticator works for a firm who has spread the message of their clients through fake online journalism (see Walmart flogs).

    Instead of the government bailing out the auto industry, we should be conducting a citizens’ bailout of the print newspaper industry by subscribing to our local papers or by picking up a copy at our nearest newsstand.

  23. SJ Mercury News has tons of problems themselves, irrelevant to the industry as a whole. They were never able to capitalize on the tech news in their own backyard, going for a fuzzy insiderish local game. With constant ownership changes, no one wants the kitty, that McClatchy no confidence vote et. al, with lawsuits and arrogant stuffed-up journalist unions going all “public service” yap yap for the left-leaning dredged pulp. Maybe John Doerr or ilk can go bailout, like they did with that bookstore. But pretty typical to blame “trends”, when more than half be your own missteps. And they have one of the worst newspaperish websites, all sterile and spamsite-looking, with zero personality.

  24. SJ Mercury News has tons of problems themselves, irrelevant to the industry as a whole. They were never able to capitalize on the tech news in their own backyard, going for a fuzzy insiderish local game. With constant ownership changes, no one wants the kitty, that McClatchy no confidence vote et. al, with lawsuits and arrogant stuffed-up journalist unions going all “public service” yap yap for the left-leaning dredged pulp. Maybe John Doerr or ilk can go bailout, like they did with that bookstore. But pretty typical to blame “trends”, when more than half be your own missteps. And they have one of the worst newspaperish websites, all sterile and spamsite-looking, with zero personality.

  25. Newspapers have a shot — if they adapt to, and take advantage of, technology.

    If the Kindle Reading device . . .

    http://tech.spotcoolstuff.com/cool-gear/review/kindle-reading-device

    . . . ever took off that could be a boon for newspapers. iPhone apps have promise too. And, yes, I think there’s a niche for the old fashion dead tree papers too. I think, today, people want news more than they ever have. Most of the highest quality reporting still comes from newspapers.

  26. Newspapers have a shot — if they adapt to, and take advantage of, technology.

    If the Kindle Reading device . . .

    http://tech.spotcoolstuff.com/cool-gear/review/kindle-reading-device

    . . . ever took off that could be a boon for newspapers. iPhone apps have promise too. And, yes, I think there’s a niche for the old fashion dead tree papers too. I think, today, people want news more than they ever have. Most of the highest quality reporting still comes from newspapers.

  27. Roger: The problem with print newspapers has to do with cost of operation. There’s a fixed cost overhead for owning and operating newspaper presses. That means that a newspaper has to generate a certain amount of revenue from printed papers to sustain operations. Typically this is calculated as a number of copies to be sold per day/week/month. Declining circulation can force newspapers out of business or into online-only operations. In a few cases, I believe that papers have sold their printing operations or spun them off, and they have a lot more flexibility in hybrid operations.

    I disagree with Eric Odom about newspapers switching to a community model. That would be competing in an existing space instead of evolving into their own uniquie new product.

    Robert notes the difference between citizen journalists and professional journalists (and the distinction is not whether you do it for a living). One of the real challenges the MSM face is the trade-off between timeliness and reliability. The value that professional news organizations are supposed to provide is reliability of information. There have been individual problems with that but they do get corrected. Which would you trust if your life depended on it, the New York Times or Wikipedia? Enough said.

  28. Roger: The problem with print newspapers has to do with cost of operation. There’s a fixed cost overhead for owning and operating newspaper presses. That means that a newspaper has to generate a certain amount of revenue from printed papers to sustain operations. Typically this is calculated as a number of copies to be sold per day/week/month. Declining circulation can force newspapers out of business or into online-only operations. In a few cases, I believe that papers have sold their printing operations or spun them off, and they have a lot more flexibility in hybrid operations.

    I disagree with Eric Odom about newspapers switching to a community model. That would be competing in an existing space instead of evolving into their own uniquie new product.

    Robert notes the difference between citizen journalists and professional journalists (and the distinction is not whether you do it for a living). One of the real challenges the MSM face is the trade-off between timeliness and reliability. The value that professional news organizations are supposed to provide is reliability of information. There have been individual problems with that but they do get corrected. Which would you trust if your life depended on it, the New York Times or Wikipedia? Enough said.

  29. Agree with Joe’s comment and would two one other major differences between citizen journalism and established media – cost of finding news and findability of that news once it’s published. It costs a lot of money to cover a war in Iraq, unless you happen to be there already. And if you’re there, and you Twitter, how do people find that Twitter?
    In the UK there are very strong newspaper brands and I don’t see them going under if they embrace the web, which many have done very successfully. If they cover the news at the expensive, macro level and incorporate into their offerings the micro level updates from members of the public, enabling other members of the public to see them more easily, then they can and should survive, imo.

  30. Agree with Joe’s comment and would two one other major differences between citizen journalism and established media – cost of finding news and findability of that news once it’s published. It costs a lot of money to cover a war in Iraq, unless you happen to be there already. And if you’re there, and you Twitter, how do people find that Twitter?
    In the UK there are very strong newspaper brands and I don’t see them going under if they embrace the web, which many have done very successfully. If they cover the news at the expensive, macro level and incorporate into their offerings the micro level updates from members of the public, enabling other members of the public to see them more easily, then they can and should survive, imo.

  31. The key question is, “Why do I buy (subscribe to) a newspaper?” or “Where’s the Beef?”

    Seems to me that the delivered value has been dropping steadily for years. Aside from the front page, editorials, business section, technology, sports, and weekly grocery ads there isn’t much there for me to read. I never look at the classified section, ladies, comics, advertising supplements, or much of anything else.

    I no longer trust my local newspaper for news or editorials because they are so left-wing biased. That might not be the case with some major newspapers but it is definitely true here in Houston where I live. I see the same thing with the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and a number of other major newspapers. They aren’t trying to inform me, they’re trying to sell me their point of view. I don’t want to help pay Maureen Dowd’s salary. So scratch the front page and the editorials.

    I get much better in-depth technical and business news from the web. By subscribing to RSS feeds I can zero in on my areas of interest. This form of delivery is also much more timely.

    The same is true for sports.

    I guess that leaves me with the once a week grocery ads. Do I want to keep up my subscription to get those ads? That’s the one remaining question.

  32. The key question is, “Why do I buy (subscribe to) a newspaper?” or “Where’s the Beef?”

    Seems to me that the delivered value has been dropping steadily for years. Aside from the front page, editorials, business section, technology, sports, and weekly grocery ads there isn’t much there for me to read. I never look at the classified section, ladies, comics, advertising supplements, or much of anything else.

    I no longer trust my local newspaper for news or editorials because they are so left-wing biased. That might not be the case with some major newspapers but it is definitely true here in Houston where I live. I see the same thing with the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and a number of other major newspapers. They aren’t trying to inform me, they’re trying to sell me their point of view. I don’t want to help pay Maureen Dowd’s salary. So scratch the front page and the editorials.

    I get much better in-depth technical and business news from the web. By subscribing to RSS feeds I can zero in on my areas of interest. This form of delivery is also much more timely.

    The same is true for sports.

    I guess that leaves me with the once a week grocery ads. Do I want to keep up my subscription to get those ads? That’s the one remaining question.

  33. Newspapers and traditional media companies have an opportunity to leverage their existing assets — brand awareness, great sales teams, traffic and audience and transition to the next model. Some are working hard to get there. We’ve been blogging about this lately — latest here: http://bit.ly/wK4N

  34. Newspapers and traditional media companies have an opportunity to leverage their existing assets — brand awareness, great sales teams, traffic and audience and transition to the next model. Some are working hard to get there. We’ve been blogging about this lately — latest here: http://bit.ly/wK4N

  35. Actually the solutions are rather easy, but the smug arrogance and inability to adapt are going to kill them. Expect lots of whining and tons of demographics about how people (esp. this cell-phone-blog-IM-Youtube generation) “doesn’t read anymore”. It’s all your fault, you illiterate-halfwit-imbeciles, you. Blame the customers, that always pays dividends.

    1. If can’t make yourself a national brand (impossible but for a handful), go local, local, local. The real keep is to ramp up the unique offerings, cover local happenings and events like heavy, go more Chicago Reader styled, perhaps easing up a tad, on the concert/nightclubs overemphasis — the net sucks at local. Red Letter Dates serious, cover the area, like no one else. Forget national, state and generic topical style/home, tech and biz sections. Only do local tech, local biz, and no trends and no analysis, everything must have a local angle, even wire copy. Cover local to area films, or film festivals over standard Hollywood pulp. The local is unique, make it reality, instead of just a slogan.

    2. Stop owning the presses, farm it out and unhook the heavy infrastructure costs. The IBM make-everything model is so 50s. Stop the constant hand wringing, find solutions. Sick to death of them always copping out on “fixed costs”, find away around it then, your problem not mine. Next thing you know they will be holding pledge drives, save your paper. Gawd.

    3. Stop with the politics and the sob-story-woe-is-me whining. Stop with the public service rants. The overall left-lean kills 50% of the audience. Really, you’d think they’d learn from Fox News/Talk Radio ratings. Serve a market, not served, esp. in this climate. But the haughty spirit of that particular political slant, will drive on the wrong side of the road eternally, refusing to see reality. Good riddance, if so.

    4. Killer website, advertising in a one-all package. Too often, the websites are just a badly-managed archive of the print without a fingerprinted personality of their own. Work the net, and don’t do what the net does. Don’t blog, don’t Youtube, don’t forum, don’t go crap citizen journalism community model. And Classifieds are dead, go dual net and paper on that front. Roll your own free Craigslist, so you get at least some traction. Newspapers need to have their own videographer journalists (real journalists, not just the Loser Generated User Content copycatting). Stop fighting the visual, and make it real journalism.

  36. Actually the solutions are rather easy, but the smug arrogance and inability to adapt are going to kill them. Expect lots of whining and tons of demographics about how people (esp. this cell-phone-blog-IM-Youtube generation) “doesn’t read anymore”. It’s all your fault, you illiterate-halfwit-imbeciles, you. Blame the customers, that always pays dividends.

    1. If can’t make yourself a national brand (impossible but for a handful), go local, local, local. The real keep is to ramp up the unique offerings, cover local happenings and events like heavy, go more Chicago Reader styled, perhaps easing up a tad, on the concert/nightclubs overemphasis — the net sucks at local. Red Letter Dates serious, cover the area, like no one else. Forget national, state and generic topical style/home, tech and biz sections. Only do local tech, local biz, and no trends and no analysis, everything must have a local angle, even wire copy. Cover local to area films, or film festivals over standard Hollywood pulp. The local is unique, make it reality, instead of just a slogan.

    2. Stop owning the presses, farm it out and unhook the heavy infrastructure costs. The IBM make-everything model is so 50s. Stop the constant hand wringing, find solutions. Sick to death of them always copping out on “fixed costs”, find away around it then, your problem not mine. Next thing you know they will be holding pledge drives, save your paper. Gawd.

    3. Stop with the politics and the sob-story-woe-is-me whining. Stop with the public service rants. The overall left-lean kills 50% of the audience. Really, you’d think they’d learn from Fox News/Talk Radio ratings. Serve a market, not served, esp. in this climate. But the haughty spirit of that particular political slant, will drive on the wrong side of the road eternally, refusing to see reality. Good riddance, if so.

    4. Killer website, advertising in a one-all package. Too often, the websites are just a badly-managed archive of the print without a fingerprinted personality of their own. Work the net, and don’t do what the net does. Don’t blog, don’t Youtube, don’t forum, don’t go crap citizen journalism community model. And Classifieds are dead, go dual net and paper on that front. Roll your own free Craigslist, so you get at least some traction. Newspapers need to have their own videographer journalists (real journalists, not just the Loser Generated User Content copycatting). Stop fighting the visual, and make it real journalism.

  37. I agree with Christopher Coulter and especially with #3. The terrible journalism and lack of reason in the articles is a killer.

    When I look at the comments after many stories, many times there is much more information in the comments than in the original story! I have no idea what they teach in journalism school, but as far as I can see, it’s a pitiful joke.

    Their answer seems to be to just move further into more liberal delusions and away from providing facts from all sides. Only with enough facts from all sides can a reader use reason to make choices and judge the correct path.

    The weekly magazines hire the same type of journalists and editors. Time Magazine has been a pamphlet for a long time. As more and more people learn that newspapers/magazines are useless and as long as the newspapers/magazines refuse to grow up and present all sides, they’ll keep losing readers.

    I was going to say “sad, but true”, but it’s not sad that they’ll be gone with their current writers/editors.

  38. I agree with Christopher Coulter and especially with #3. The terrible journalism and lack of reason in the articles is a killer.

    When I look at the comments after many stories, many times there is much more information in the comments than in the original story! I have no idea what they teach in journalism school, but as far as I can see, it’s a pitiful joke.

    Their answer seems to be to just move further into more liberal delusions and away from providing facts from all sides. Only with enough facts from all sides can a reader use reason to make choices and judge the correct path.

    The weekly magazines hire the same type of journalists and editors. Time Magazine has been a pamphlet for a long time. As more and more people learn that newspapers/magazines are useless and as long as the newspapers/magazines refuse to grow up and present all sides, they’ll keep losing readers.

    I was going to say “sad, but true”, but it’s not sad that they’ll be gone with their current writers/editors.

  39. Good interview…One key point stuck out when he said an online subscriber is worth 10% of what a print subscriber is worth to advertisers. This is partly the nature of the web, where info is valued differently, and possibly because print has been overvalued all along. The market is determining the true value of newspaper “news.” Their problem obviously is not just figuring out how to monetize the same information online, but to reinvent the the way they collect,edit, package and dispense it. It needs to be more personalized for one thing. The Mercury’s entertainment news is still a mess, to me, basically lists of events that you have to search through with crude tools. Why can’t this be packaged in a way so that I, as a middle aged consumer with certain interests, can easily go on and find events, activities, etc that fit my needs- or better yet a bot that does it for me, making suggestions along the way. They do have a resource, as he says, reporters who professionally report real news (vs bloggers who shoot from the hip) but unless they can figure out a way to leverage their information and come up with a new model for today’s audiences, I see a slow, painfully diminished role for newspapers in the years ahead.
    Mark
    footnote: I spent over 12 years as a reporter and editor, first in Texas, later at BusinessWeek

  40. Good interview…One key point stuck out when he said an online subscriber is worth 10% of what a print subscriber is worth to advertisers. This is partly the nature of the web, where info is valued differently, and possibly because print has been overvalued all along. The market is determining the true value of newspaper “news.” Their problem obviously is not just figuring out how to monetize the same information online, but to reinvent the the way they collect,edit, package and dispense it. It needs to be more personalized for one thing. The Mercury’s entertainment news is still a mess, to me, basically lists of events that you have to search through with crude tools. Why can’t this be packaged in a way so that I, as a middle aged consumer with certain interests, can easily go on and find events, activities, etc that fit my needs- or better yet a bot that does it for me, making suggestions along the way. They do have a resource, as he says, reporters who professionally report real news (vs bloggers who shoot from the hip) but unless they can figure out a way to leverage their information and come up with a new model for today’s audiences, I see a slow, painfully diminished role for newspapers in the years ahead.
    Mark
    footnote: I spent over 12 years as a reporter and editor, first in Texas, later at BusinessWeek

  41. Idealy, I would love to see the printed word survive in the future, but I think that Newspapers are just too time-sensitive to last anymore. In my opinion, I think newspapers should take more “recap” style articles where it won’t matter if the newspaper sits in a shop or a machine for a week or so, you can still learn something from it.

    And also, I do agree in the desire for a less political news press. Even as someone relatively left wing, I go to read news to learn about what is going on in the world, not some person’s opinion on what is going on in the world.

  42. Idealy, I would love to see the printed word survive in the future, but I think that Newspapers are just too time-sensitive to last anymore. In my opinion, I think newspapers should take more “recap” style articles where it won’t matter if the newspaper sits in a shop or a machine for a week or so, you can still learn something from it.

    And also, I do agree in the desire for a less political news press. Even as someone relatively left wing, I go to read news to learn about what is going on in the world, not some person’s opinion on what is going on in the world.

  43. As long as newspapers rely on paper, the answer is no future. They need to offer both web and paper formats for every subscriber. There should be no extra fee associated with either one. Plus, they need to have all the news if not more online.

    Also, journalists will remain journalists. In house journalists should be allowed to independently publish blogs online through their newspapers.

    It will be go from top down to bottom up.

  44. As long as newspapers rely on paper, the answer is no future. They need to offer both web and paper formats for every subscriber. There should be no extra fee associated with either one. Plus, they need to have all the news if not more online.

    Also, journalists will remain journalists. In house journalists should be allowed to independently publish blogs online through their newspapers.

    It will be go from top down to bottom up.

  45. A friend recently said she rea that the Sunday edition of the New York Times consumes the paper of 165,000 trees. Does anyone have reasonably accurate data?