Politics & Media
Mar 17, 2009, 12:21PM

And here's another one

Another epically long column on the future of journalism. Also very good.

Where's the beef? Here:

The funny thing about newspapers today is that their audience is growing at a remarkable clip. Their underlying business model is being attacked by multiple forces, but their online audience is growing faster than their print audience is shrinking. As of January, print circulation had declined from 62 million to 49 million since my days at the College Hill Bookstore. But their online audience has grown from zero to 75 million over that period. Measured by pure audience interest, newspapers have never been more relevant. If they embrace this role as an authoritative guide to the entire ecosystem of news, if they stop paying for content that the web is already generating on its own, I suspect in the long run they will be as sustainable and as vital as they have ever been. The implied motto of every paper in the country should be: all the news that’s fit to link.

  • I'm not sure this debate is even relevant to all but the most dedicated print newspaper readers of the past, but a quibble here. Yes, online websites for newspapers are growing at a "remarkable clip." But, at least in my case, it's a scattershot new habit. When I used to read the New York Times in print, I spent a lot more time with the publication. Now, I skip the city news, most of the arts and certainly the style and fashion fluff, as well as some of the op-eds. Not so long ago, I'd catch, say a Dan Barry column or "cheap eats" review simply by flipping pages. I don't do that now, and my guess is it's the same with most readers. So, no, I don't think "in the long run" newspapers as we know them, even as they increasingly digitalize, are "sustainable." It's too early to tell how the industry will shake out, and who will dominate it, but there's simply no way current companies can revive themselves.

    Responses to this comment

Register or Login to leave a comment