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Boyd & Buffett: Newspapers are dead already

Stowe Boyd updates the continuing bad news and bleak outlook for the newspaper industry. Some lowlights:

We should stop wringing our hands for the moribund local newspapers. They are going under. Period. Full stop...

Journalists will, yes, have to get other jobs, or figure out how to make it online.

From From The Washington Post: Buffett Pessimistic About Newspapers

Warren Buffet wrote “fundamentals are definitely eroding in the newspaper industry” and warned that “the skid will almost certainly continue.”

Average daily newspaper circulation in the United States has declined each year since 1987. At The Post, print advertising revenue decreased 4 percent in 2006 from the year before.

And for newspapers that have pinned their revenue hopes on their Web sites, Buffett had a sobering prediction: “. . . the economic potential of a newspaper Internet site—given the many alternative sources of information and entertainment that are free and only a click away—is at best a small fraction of that existing in the past for a print newspaper facing no competition.”

via Stowe Boyd via Facebook

Update: Apparently the American Society of Newspaper Editors is feeling the pressure, too...

From Strupp’s Notebook: The End of ‘Newspapers’ for ASNE?

No more does the ASNE name rest on a red and white box, with its formal name written out, surrounding the logo with the folded corner.

The new logo does not even mention the word, “newspaper,” stating, in a slick black and white design, “ASNE – Leading America’s Newsrooms.”

ASNE president Dave Zeeck acknowledged the “identity transfer” during his address to members. He said the idea was to expand the newspaper image beyond just print and on to online and other facets of the business. “That is what moving ASNE forward looks like,” he said.

From Dave Winer: How to save newspapers

First, reform journalism school. It’s too late to be training new journalists in the classic mode. Instead, journalism should become a required course, one or two semesters for every graduate. Why? Because journalism like everything else that used to be centralized is in the process of being distributed. In the future, every educated person will be a journalist, as today we are all travel agents and stock brokers.

Posted on Mar 28, 2007 | 2:57 am EST

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You may want to read my article, Newspapers: Industry in Turmoil for an overview of the strategic
manueverings going on, and more importantly, should be going on. Regards, Sramana

Posted by: Sramana Mitra on Apr 11, 07 | 12:03 am EST

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Thanks for sharing an interesting post and letting us know about your blog.

Posted by: chris on Apr 12, 07 | 1:04 pm EST

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I see very thin lining between Blogging community and mainstream media and since the mainstream media is also taking support of blogging to connect people so the lining can be erashed easily in coming years, I guess.

Posted by: micfo on Apr 13, 07 | 1:21 pm EST

I’m not so sure newspapers are dead. Newspapers, as ink on paper, are alive and pulling down tremendous profit margins. However, these margins are not growing, and in a market controlled by Wall Street expectations, you have to grow. I often wonder if we wouldn’t be better off if newspapers weren’t publicly traded and could focus energies on quality and readers rather than investors and the bottom line.

HOWEVER: If you’re looking for the future of journalism, and looking to see how it will survive, look at Gannett, where there’s never been a shortage of folks trying to find ways to make a profit out of newspapers (he says with a twinge of sneer in his fingers). Their solution is to take the “paper” out of “newspaper” and call their former newsrooms “information centers.” They are very public about the fact that they’re looking to market information, not dead trees. The value is in the information service, the reporters, the photographers, the editors, the collators and platforms for passing along information. Pro/am strategies and citizen journalism have completely taken over Gannett “information centers,” in strategy if not yet fully in practice.

Printed newspapers will survive for as long as Gannett sees an ROI in distributing them. (That’s Return On Investment, for those of you who don’t work for Gannett).

How ironic it would be if “money-grubbing” Gannett ended up being the company that saved journalism. It seems determined to push journalists into a digital and interactive era—because it believes that’s where the money is. They might save the pro side of pro/am journalism in the process.

Posted by: Smitty on Jun 14, 07 | 6:00 pm EST

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Everthing’s online these days from media through to travel.  An it’s a good thing - newsapapers use up so much paper, it’s hardly good for the environment.  Save the rainforests!

Posted by: Equador on Oct 13, 07 | 2:35 am EST


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