1. Putting web first and reporting from multiple platforms - 12 Things Newspapers Should Do to Survive

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12 Things Newspapers Should Do to Survive

August 14, 2009 by Vadim Lavrusik

Vadim Lavrusik is a new media student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is @lavrusik on Twitter and blogs at Lavrusik.com.


Though there are countless articles and blog posts sprawled across the web about the dying newspaper industry, this will not be one of them. Some people have even come to the conclusion that journalism itself is dying, yet in reality, journalism is expanding with social media platforms and technology allowing the former audience and sources to become the reporters themselves. Instead of dwelling on the doom and gloom, this post is an attempt at gathering voices in the journalism industry and on the web to give some thought as to what newspapers should be considering in order to survive and evolve with today’s technology-driven, short-attention-span world.

Those who think there is one silver bullet to fix the newspaper business are mistaken.

Newspapers have almost always had multiple streams of revenue to support themselves and the future will likely not be any different. That doesn’t mean, however, that the money-making models newspapers will use on the web will look the same as the ones they have used for print.

Newspapers are struggling financially, but ad revenue is predicted to recover slightly in 2010. The underlying issues are not just business-driven, but include issues of structure, culture and the industrialized foundations of distributing newspapers. This list is not a comprehensive one, but these are some of the things that newspaper leaders should be considering. And though print itself may not survive, the organizations behind them provide value to a democratic society, often covering and providing news that blogs with more limited resources can’t always dig up. We welcome comments below with other suggestions of things you think newspaper leaders should try or invest in. Let’s have some dialogue about this topic.

1. Putting web first and reporting from multiple platforms


Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, said one of the issues is that reporters have been given a job description that revolves around a single platform (i.e. print journalist), when really journalists need to conceive of the editorial act apart from questions of platforms.

Ultimately, the word “print” needs to be removed from the role of print journalists, said Kevin Sablan, leader of the Orange County Register’s web task force. Reporters need to focus on primarily gathering information and how to present that information in multiple formats: websites, mobile platforms, social networks and finally print.

The reason? Technology is changing the way people consume news, and though many are still getting their news through traditional print outlets, many others are shifting to get their news through various media, such as television, mobile phones, and the web. Ryan Sholin, director of news innovation at Publish2, a company that specializes in link journalism, said journalists now have to be ready to produce journalism on multiple platforms, whether that is tweeting a

headline, uploading a video through their iPhone or something else – journalism comes in all shapes and sizes.

2. Go niche

The mass-broadcasting model just doesn’t seem to work as well on the web. More and more, people are finding value in the specific subjects or areas they find most interesting or that impact them directly. The vertical supply chain of newspapers, an industrialized model of a collection of sectioned news stuffed into one paper, is simply becoming less valuable to more people, said

Stowe Boyd, managing director of Microsyntax.org, a nonprofit investigating the embedding of structured information in microstreaming applications like Twitter.

“We are seeing more fragmentation and specialization,” Boyd said. “How many successful bloggers do you know that write about everything?” Newspapers need to figure out what they do well and report on that, he said, using Politico.com, which focuses on political news, as an example.

Paul Bradshaw, senior lecturer in online journalism at Birmingham City University and a media consultant, also said newspapers need to go more niche and perhaps start publishing less

frequently and charging more. He expects newspapers to move into the direction of magazines with higher quality news, while using their websites for high turnover news.


Bradshaw’s point speaks to the idea that newspapers need to stop treating their websites as a dumping ground for print stories and treat each somewhat independently, carefully selecting the stories better suited for each media.

What this looks like is having the physical newspaper focus on less time-sensitive news and instead more analytical stories, said Mathew Ingram, communities editor of The Globe and Mail. This also means adding context to news that has been posted, shared and retweeted online.

The same concept applies to the web, which Nieman Journalism Lab contributor Gina Chen points out, needs to offer more than just news, but services and resources for readers in that community (see point 11 on the potential revenue from this). This also changes the roles of journalists quite a bit.

4. Journalists as curators and contextualizers

The link economy is very real and the time to invest is now. The brutal reality is that currently newspapers own less than 1 percent of U.S. online audience page views and time spent. Linking to other articles and curating information will not only be helpful to readers but make newpapers more visible on the web.


The print edition of a newspaper can serve to contextualize the news that has been posted, shared and retweeted online, Sablan said. “It can include a cohesive narrative presentation of the

disjointed bits that floated around disparate streams and blogs the day before,” he said.

Journalists need to move away from being “processors of information” to contextualizers, Bradshaw said. In the old industrialized model, he explained, journalists simply processed raw material into an article or a broadcast in a market that they also had a monopoly on, but in today’s networked model the raw material is available to the former audience, which is taking on the role of the reporter, as are the sources themselves.

5. Real-time reporting integration


“The means of production are available to everyone. The distribution network is available to everyone,” Bradshaw said. “Rewriting a press release just doesn’t hack it anymore.” If sources are able to report news themselves, the bar is raised for news organizations to adopt and integrate real-time reporting on their websites.

Twitter is likely the good target for newspaper websites to focus in on and harness. Breaking news stories are usually huge traffic generators for any site. But now when news breaks it is happening on Twitter, Boyd said. Boyd points out that some TV news organizations have incorporated Twitter into their live shows, and the key will be for newspapers to figure out how to integrate it into their websites and news operations.


6. Internal culture: Startup vs. corporate

Many newspapers today are built around a very corporate and bureaucratic structure. There is a reporter and an editor and an editor’s editor and the editor of all editors, and well, you get the point. Scott Porad, CTO of Pet Holdings, points out that the problem with corporate

environments is that 80 percent of the time is spent planning and only 20 percent is spent doing. While at his startup only 5 percent is spent planning and 95 percent is spent doing. Mark Briggs recently wrote a great post on how one might create a startup culture in the newsroom.

Sholin from Publish2 also thinks newspapers should structure themselves around more of a startup model, rather than current corporate bureaucracies. Sholin compared the newspaper industry to the Titanic, because it is headed straight for an iceberg and can’t seem to turn fast enough because of the layers of bureaucracy and the opinions that often halt change. And though completely restructuring a large news organization may not be possible, at least not overnight, creating a startup-like environment that encourages innovation in the newsroom can be.


Part of having a startup culture includes an environment that encourages innovation, such as Google’s “20 percent time” rule that allows engineers to work on side projects they are passionate about, which has resulted in Google products like AdSense, Orkut and more.

Sholin from Publish2 points out that some newspapers are doing this by creating teams that experiment and take risks. The Guardian in the U.K. hosted its second “Hack Day” in July, which brought journalists and developers from the company and from the outside to see what they could create in just 24 hours. The results ranged from the useful to the amusing. If newspapers had started innovating in the early days of the web and experimenting with new tools, then who knows how the industry might have evolved. Maybe a newspaper would have been responsible for recreating the online classifieds system rather than Craigslist.

8. Charging for quotes is not the answer

The Associated Press signed a deal with iCopyright that will help them track and charge for unauthorized use of its content. This hasn’t sat well with readers and has been criticized by members of the journalism industry, including the President of Media at Thomson Reuters Chris Ahearn. He wrote a response in which he outlined his support for the so-called “link economy,” which the AP’s deal with iCopyright goes against.

In an interview, Ahearn explained further and said that he believes media is a dialogue and linking and appropriate excerpting is part of that dialogue. Any time someone links, it is a chance to gain another loyal reader, Ahearn said. Also, he said, it adds value to the news story and strengthens the relationship readers have with the publisher.

Bradshaw agreed: “Some magical meta-tagging technology that allows you to charge people for quoting your material is insane.”

9. Investing in mobile: E-Readers or smartphones?

Aside from the fact that more people are getting smartphones and using them to stay connected to the news, there is also some potential for money to be made. Apparently, news organizations are catching on, becoming the fastest growing iPhone application category.


news organizations are kicking themselves for not thinking of charging to download from the beginning. Another option, he said, is for news organizations to consider pursuing partnerships with carriers that would automatically include the news app on the phones, making it easily accessible. Sholin is also fancied by e-readers like the Kindle and thinks the upcoming Apple tablet could be the “short-term winner.”

Ingram from The Globe and Mail said whether it’s on a smart phone or on an e-reader like the Kindle, each technology has the potential of bringing value to newspapers.

Bradshaw said he doesn’t believe the Kindle is the right option, referring to it as “a branch to snap on the way to the bottom.”

The opinions seem mixed, but because so many people are already using their smartphones for other purposes, pursuing that platform may be the better option.

10. Communicating with readers


Stowe Boyd said newspaper websites have a lot of catching up to do in this area. “People have been commenting for a long time online and it is a long time [for newspapers] to have avoided doing that,” Boyd said. After all, Boyd said comments do lead to more page views.

It isn’t just the comments. A lot of the social media news accounts are used like RSS feeds without any interaction with the audience. But social media can be a great tool for earning trust with your audience. Bradshaw said that individuals, not institutions, most effectively use social media, and so the role of the journalist in distribution becomes more important. He said

eventually journalists will be expected to engage readers through comments, blogs, Twitter, etc., or it will be done by dedicated community managers.

“The one thing most likely to make the public value newspapers is newspapers valuing the public,” Bradshaw said.

Ingram from The Globe and Mail agreed that in general journalists should be doing more interacting with the public, to build trust. “So that they can help us do our jobs,” Ingram said.

11. Building community

Newspaper websites are no longer expected to just provide news, but also to create community. Some newspapers are harnessing social media platforms to achieve this goal. Whether creating a Facebook Fan Page, a LinkedIn group or a Twitter account, newspapers are using social media in an attempt to create a community of readers. Developers like Jeff Reifman, founder of

NewsCloud, which creates community-based Facebook applications that aggregate news, are aware of the changing model of the news industry as well and are trying to take advantage. (Disclosure: I helped launch and managed the content for one of NewsCloud’s Facebook applications at a previous job).

Reifman’s most recent Seattle-based application “The Needle” includes features like a hand-selected Twitter feed of Seattle tweets, a place to post stories that users find interesting and a place to post items users want to share, all aimed at building community among users in Seattle.

“News organizations should stop thinking of themselves as just a news publisher. News sites have to deliver a community town center online,” Reifman said. “Creating community, creates a loyal relationship with your readers.”


12. To pay wall or not to pay wall – that is the question

There isn’t a clear-cut answer for whether newspaper websites should charge for online content and if they should, what the best model is. Whether a subscription based model or a pay-per-article model, each has some serious implications. However, some think that there has been enough talking and that newspapers should go ahead and charge for online content. Rupert Murdoch, CEO and founder of News Corp., is planning to start charging readers for online content for all of the company’s news websites, starting with The Sunday Times in November.

Chris Ahearn from Thomson Reuters said the better question for newspapers to consider is how to create value for readers and provide services that people are willing to pay for. He said Thomson Reuters focuses on providing services that are valuable to people and the majority of the company’s revenue is from subscription-based products.


Stowe Boyd from Microsyntax.org said newspapers have to figure out what users are willing to pay for and that an overarching model may not work. News sites should offer readers to

subscribe or pay for certain areas of interest, like sports, politics, etc. that they value on the site.

Another unexplored area for newspapers is the possibility of generating revenue from social media. Social media has been helping newspapers in various ways, but Sablan from the Orange County Register said he hasn’t seen any newspapers using social media for the express purpose of making money directly, but that in the current state of the industry, all possible sources of revenue need to be explored. “It would be great if newspapers could figure out a successful business around social networking,” Sablan said.

What does the future hold?

But there is yet one consideration and question that remains:

Will websites replace newspapers? Here’s what the experts think.


“I don’t think websites will ever completely replace newspapers. I think there will always be people who want the printed version for a variety of reasons, including convenience, portability, etc.” – Mathew Ingram

“No. Newspapers as a platform have several advantages over the web, both technical and cultural, and they are flexible enough to adapt in response. The big difference is they’ll have to adapt economically as well, which is why they’ll suffer more than they did with the advent of radio, TV, etc.” – Paul Bradshaw***



Why aren’t newspapers partnering with distributors that can get their stuff to me without my need for paper? Carve out deals with those who distribute content already — they have the pipes and you have the brand. Examples:

1 – DirecTV. Their customer service rocks and they’re certainly willing to partner with media properties. Where I live, Chicagoland, it would be super easy to provide exclusive content to me, a Tribune subscriber, using DirecTV as a distribution platform. Want a paper version? Great, we’ll deliver it. Don’t? Login and watch/read your Trib through DTV.

2 – Mobile phone companies. Heck, they’re already tossing in extra charges for this or that — why not 10 bucks a month for the Trib?

Mark Cuban recently wrote that taking over the credit card info is the way to go — once you have them on the hook, get them to buy more stuff. I agree, but the papers are dinosaurs when it comes to managing subscriber data. (Save for the Journal.) Might as well partner with those who have the data and can bill you easily.

Michael Beavers

This is a thoughtful piece, Vadim. You partially covered this in the “contextualizers and curators” description of the role that reporters must take, but I wonder about the roles of junior reporters and their editors.

With the immediacy of getting news out, the professional structure of the newsroom provides a more senior layer of editors to make calls regarding what gets reported and what doesn’t. Usually by the time this happens, some citizen journalist has already broken the story by posting a photo from their phone to flickr, facebook, and twitter.

I wonder how all of this is sped up without eroding the analysis and judgment that more senior news professionals provide.


Vadim Lavrusik

I think that is another thing that actually would be good in changing. A lot of online news sites are already structured like this. The editors role is big during in-depth and analytical pieces, while with breaking news they have much more freedom to cover a range of issues and post them. Some newspapers are doing this well too. I have worked at one that does it well and one that doesn’t (don’t want to bad-mouth a former employer because both are great pubs), but the one at which reporters had more freedom reporting to the Web on their own was always quick in breaking news online. The editors role comes to play in the follow-up pieces.


I like this a lot, Vadim. And I liked Ahearn’s piece yesterday. A lot.

So I’ll share this:

One key to this puzzle is for newspapers to win back ‘classifieds’ which always were their most expensive inch-rate. They lost classifieds – which acted as a sort of printed commons – to the far more communitarian web space.

While the web has certainly helped create a global community – the sun never sets on my Twittersphere – our real lives are local, local, local. That’s why Craig’s List is broken down by cities.

Win back classifieds by winning back the community. Out Craig’s List Craig’s List.

Win. Them. Back.

Cuz you done lost ‘em.

Brandon Wall

There are a lot of great points here, thank you for the insightful article. Here are some thoughts:

1) Continuing with the concept of removing ‘print’ from ‘print journalism,’ it is foolish for colleges and universities to be offering both a ‘print’ and ‘multimedia’ journalism. Clearly there is no future in an education that revolves solely around print writing. Similarly, multimedia journalism is not an encompassing enough concept. I think in the years to come we will see j-schools shifting to merge programs into one ‘Digital Journalism’ program.


pondering about making a prototype for it come December when I am graduated and unemployed.

3) Unique content in print speaks to the evolving nature of what a newspaper is and is not. They are no longer timely, so telling the news is not enough. I have always been a huge fan of letters to the editor and while obviously you cannot have an entire publication of write-ins, I think community involvement might begin to play a larger role in print media.

6) Restructuring newspapers is a must. I’ve long been a proponent of the complete death of the current print industry, so that a new one built around 21st century concepts can emerge. One of the biggest reasons I think a total collapse approach is necessary to save print media is

BECAUSE of the structure. I don’t think that an industry so rooted in the old way of things, so slow to adapt to changing technologies, is going to be able to shift their culture.

12) The real problem is that people have NEVER paid for newspaper articles. In the golden days of the industry, newspapers were available for as cheap as they were as a result of advertising revenue and classifieds. When those sources dried up, so did the industry. It’s definitely worth exploring, and Murdoch’s plans are really going to accelerate the discussion, but I don’t think it is a MAJOR source of revenue in the long run.

Krista Thomas

Terrific piece Vadim, and thanks for mentioning OpenCalais.

Newspapers can follow the example of CNET, HuffingtonPost, DailyMe and others who are using our free service to automatically tag their content, enrich it with open data sources, and create topic hubs, reader recommendations and other engagement features on the fly.

The service requires a bit of development on the front end, to integrate with each CMS, but it returns dividends in the form of productivity and efficiency – freeing reporters and editors from tagging and categorizing chores.

Our early adopter from the print world has been Associated Newspapers in the UK, which is using OpenCalais for SEO purposes on the Daily Mail's site: MailOnline.


There is only thing that newspapers need to do is evolve their prime medium of value exchange, inline with the evolution of the value imbibing medium preferences of their customers.


The Web is now evolving into a Web of Linked Data where every Data Item has its own Identifier (an HTTP URI) which is a conduit to a mesh of related data items from all over the Web.

If newspaper organizations simply get on the Linked Data bandwagon by including rich metadata snippets in their Web pages that include HTTP URIs for each “Person”, “Place”, and associated “Event”, they will realize instant re-calibration of their currently warped business models.

The prime medium of value exchange is the Web. Customers still need high quality facts, and even more, they want the data to be recombinant (mesh-able rather than mash-able). This is no different to what they sought from Newspaper prior to the emergence of the Web.

Again, the medium of value exchange is all that’s broken :-)

Kingsley idehen

lee richardson

Rupert Murdoch will have the power and force to test options that work. He may have to try many particular strategies to please audiences who now have enough choices of newspapers and a natural inclination not to pay for emails or web reading.

Actually, the best approach for pay per view may be to have the patience to wait for small or large communities that lose their newspaper(s) entirely. There are also in existence now entire counties and small cities with poor or nonexistent full newspapers. Those places will or already have real needs and may welcome the rescue by operators big enough to do local, metro,national and international well in one paper.

The big metro papers fail too often with their local suburban weekly coverage of county politics, zoning, crimes, school events, and other of life’s essentials away from the city. As major papers cut back in the current crises, suburbanites take some of the big cuts in coverages while at the same time seeing the little weeklies become advertising with no firsthand news coverage.

Time to look at possible small solutions that grow.We are too focused on the top city papers

1. ethics

2. fact check

3. do not label editorializing as news articles




Ill testify my opinion as always although i know that many disagree. Vadim Lavrusiks plan for saving traditional press can be possibly successful, but i can tell you for sure, at least here in Greece, that it can never happen. The traditional press is to corrupted and used to easy, no sweat, high profit, mostly by supporting by any cost (including lies and misleading information) the people or companies who fund it. With the dynamic entrance of web media, no citizen in obliged any more, to eat rotten food and pay for it. There is no doubt, that traditional press will still survive long enough, mostly by using unethical cheats and tricks, such as political money for gaining elections, but the old dominance and leading of public mind is long gone.

#13 – go hyperlocal. Still plenty of money to be made by going really local. We have the big dailies from Tacoma and Seattle, yet in town we have two locals – one weekly and one twice-weekly. And both could be improved on.


Newsprint loses money because senior management and the print culture, (1) forgot why people buy a newspaper;

(2) Refused to adjust to ad buy values in today’s market, (along with 100 year old formats); and (3) Simply do not understand that there’s one thing that a decent daily can do that NO internet site, mobile, TV, cable, radio, magazine or billboard can.

First, People want to know what’s going on.


Second, Advertising is a competitive game and you have to work to land that business – stop treating like something nasty you have to do so you can be in the news business. Don’t mix them as infotainment – news MUST be credible – but there’s nothing wrong with making sure the new window advertiser is near the story on State rebates for energy efficient windows. Take a course on keyword ad placement and get a few geeks to look at your print like it was a web page – or even a google search page.

Third, A well crafted daily newspaper still has a great credibility factor – especially if you stick to high quality Who, What, Where and When.

It’s also the only vehicle that can actually put something into your hands everyday. Right in your hands. That’s huge -and the best anyone comes up with is an overpriced sticky note on the front page.

How about Joint Ventures? Affiliate programs are out there for just about anything you can imagine. Database and do the in depth demographics – you’ll find that you can beat the old rate card instead of discounting it 85%… it’s really that easy.

Final point. TV news already destroyed their news units – the staffing and depth is long gone – so why would anyone tune in? Once you destroy those staffs in the paper biz, you’ve destroyed your other unique advantage – you actually can provide accurate news, at least for a little while longer.

Rob Quigley

Terrific article, and I agree with most posts. Newspaper websites need to be a platform that is not an afterthought to their work process. How often have you clicked a link in a newspaper article and was taken to an internal search page showing quasi related articles based on a keyword, when you thought you might be going to the source of what the article was writting on. In my experience, all tool often now, in the day of real time web, you’ll see articles that refrence an online video or article but provide no link or neglect to embed the video even when available. Newspapers do a poor job as online resources. They neglect to accurately link or embed online content right in their articles and it’s because the are not a web first platform.

I would have liked to have seen a few comments at the end by some of those that do think print media will rather that the two opinions that it won’t die. The fact is print is a declining medium due to the print infrastructure costs and the irrlevency of being yesterday’s news in a digitally connected world where individuals can be newsmakers in real time through social media platforms.

I stopped my newspaper subscription years ago in favor of free online resources. My children are not growing up as I, or my dad did, which was having a newspaper available in the house. In California there is the digital text book initiative for schools by Gov. Schwarzenegger which provides online resources instead of text books. If you don’t believe that print will be dead in your lifetime, it certainly will be in future generations.


All these points have been made before, but the print industry is still having trouble

understanding what they need to do. I wrote this article on the 7th (Newspapers/Magazines in a Rush to Digitize or Die) http://www.juanitachronowski.com/jdcblog/?p=1757 I manitain that if I had more options in formats that were readable there would be a seamless transition to digital, at lest for me. I also say that readers who love the printed page who are exposed to the new eInk technology seem to enjoy it better than the glare of the old screens or phone/home computer screens, and they say they would be happy with this new option, if the pages were readable.

Di Drinkwater

I’d noticed at one stage the papers were all giving away free CDs and films. They don’t seem to be doing it as much at the moment, so I wonder if they found it effective at building and keeping a new customer base, or just too expensive.

The Sunday Times often has nice supplements but I so rarely buy it as I find so much paper doesn’t get read properly that it goes to be recycled without anyone reading it. Perhaps this is another way the net works so well over paper; HTML code is recycled instantly without having to sort it into different bins!


I think the revenue generating aspect of newspapers online would be a big issue. Pay for subscription or pay per article….I don’t think that would work very well. People like me might think “Why should I pay to read an article that I’m vaguely interested in?” or “Why should I pay to subscribe for news when I can get it for free elsewhere or when it should be free in the first place?”.

For example, this article I found very good, but before I started reading it I was vaguely interested. So had I had to choose beforehand to pay to read, I’d probably not pay because of only having a passing interest in it and not knowing if the article was even good enough to be worth my money. If Mashable was a pay for subscription site, had I have to choose should I pay before even knowing what the content of the site is like, no I wouldn’t pay. Even if I know the content of the site, and Mashable makes it pay for subscription, I’d be thinking “Why should I pay for something I used to get for free or can get elsewhere for free?” (Sorry Mashable)

No, I think the pay to read or subscription approach won’t work that well on the internet, the internet is about things being free and sharing. I think this article is correct in saying Newspapers have to figure out what services the readers are willing to pay for, and it shouldn’t be for reading the articles. I guess the trick is to figure what other services are available to charge for?


A provided service like that I don’t think people would mind seeing it charged for, but being charged to just read something? No, there are plenty of other people who are happy you wanted to read what they wrote, and that’s payment enough for them. Like if you read what I just wrote here and commented that you liked it, that’s payment enough for me! But if you disagree with what I wrote here, well that will be $1.00 for reading this then, please deposit it to my PayPal account, thanks! =)


Great article!

To quote Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal and Executive Editor for the Journal Online:

1. The best model is a mix of paid and free content

2. You can’t charge for exclusives that will just be repeated elsewhere 3. Don’t charge for the most popular content on your site

4. Content behind a pay wall should appeal to niches 5. The narrower the niche, the better

Or as Chris Anderson puts it “If you don’t make your exclusives free, other people will report on your exclusives, and they will get all the traffic… To reference my last book, The Long Tail, you get the head of the curve, the most popular stuff, that’s best to monetize with advertising, and you got the tail of the curve, the niche stuff, a more narrow interest, that is best to monetize with direct payments… Give away the head, sell the tail”

This is very much in line with the results of the report On the outlook for newspapers in the digital age: Moving into multiple business models, by PricewaterhouseCoopers summarized at



All good/valid points. We need credible journalistic sources to provide us with an objective perspective which we must remind ourselves that there are VERY few of these available today. The majority of blogs/user content is poor and who knows how credible any of them really are… our traditional soures (e.g., NY Times, Fox News) are skewed. We need more “Walter Kronkite” talent. Where is the money coming from for this talent and resouce to effectively cover

key/meaningful issues…perhaps some people will continue to be driven by their passions. But, we all need to eat.

It is too late for the pay wall to work for broader news and information…way too many

alternatives available to get this for free. Micro-payments are a viable option in-theory…but, the infrastructure and standards are simply not there yet.




Newspapers revenue is an issue right now, but soon other business are going to be in a similar situation, IMO going niche and building a community is a must for everybody. In a era when you can get many things free, paying is a choice you made, based not only in the value of the product but also on who is selling it.

John Gasper

Every one of those experts at the end of the piece sound so much like those famous quotes that end up in your e-mail on a semi-regular basis. You know, the one about “The world only needs six computers, seven tops”, etc. Convenience and portability will keep ink on paper? I

recommend you button up your shoes, light your carbide lamp, hitch the horse up to the carriage and get to town a little more often Mr. Ingram.


Great article. I would just like to bring up the point that you did not touch on in depth. How do we protect newsprint from becoming an evolutionary dinosaur? It is fine to look at the problem right here, right now with eyes that are coded with todays concepts. But, what happens when in ten or fifteen years some marketing manager decides that the cost effectiveness issue outweighs the viability of having hardcopy distribution. Sorry to rain on everyones parade, including Rupert Murdoch’s, but eventually, this will happen. What then?


Another excellent read regarding this topic: “Stopping the Newspaper Death March” by John C. Dvorak writing in PCMag.com –




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