Newspapers are dying – a slow and painful death right before our eyes. While some newspapers still require payment for their content, most have made not only their current content, but as far back as 20 years or more, like the New York Times. In today’s Guardian a reporter has finally decided to step forward and admit the truth that most journalists do not wish to hear, “The death knoll is ringing for print newspapers.”
It’s clear that as the generational swing continues to forge ahead with time (read: as older people pass away and the more technologically inclined generations become the masses), electronic means of content distribution is preferred. Let me read it when and how and where I want – for free.
Unless traditional newspaper publishers can find a way of securing substantial online revenue streams, by attracting sufficient eyeballs for their editorial content, there is no future for them. That’s the challenge. And it’s a race against time.
That is not a negative viewpoint. It is how it is. Unless we face up to that there is no chance of success.
With the methodology of free content distribution, advertising will be the primary, continued, financial backbone of the company. Garnering enough eyeballs to devour that content is another story all together. Syndication through other networks, ensuring high search engine rankings, being well integrated with DIGG, Technorati and other services becomes incredibly important as well.
There’s so many more things that are required of publishers in the 21st century that makes the beat reporter of the 20s look like kids play. People have to write blogs, take their own digital photos, make videos and much more – just to continue to have a readership which will commercially support their work. In the end, that’s what it is really all about.
Some people do this type of thing for downright fun, like me. Sure, it costs me a few bucks a month, but only by choice. I could use a WordPress.com account instead of the hosted version and it would be downright free and costs me nothing, of course except my domain. Can’t be without your own domain these days!
Print news is dead. Let the delivery man know those ugly plastic boxes will no longer blight the rural countryside. Now, the environmental impact is starting to hit me – we won’t kill as many tress, but we will now have landfills full of plastic paper bins. Maybe they could melt them down, turn them into oil to power the electricity plants that supply energy to the server farms where their sites are hosted.
Wow, where’d that come from?
Image Credit: Slate.com