Last week, Todd Defren inquired on Twitter asking “how worried are you about ‘The Death of Newspapers?'” and I replied that I was extremely concerned. The next day, Defren wrote a blog post entitled “Nobody Cares About Newspapers” to which I immediately took offense! However, after reading further and perusing the comments (such as Chris Brogan‘s), I realized that Defren is (more or less) right – “Everyone sees a need for unbiased, investigative journalism. They just don’t care about the format.”
One reader commented that since the demise of the Seattle’s Post-Intelligencer (print edition) that it’s been replaced by PI.com, hyper-local blogs and even independent news outlets, demonstrating that journalism is still thriving.
A key point that hardly anyone seems to realize, however, is that there are many local papers that are still not even on the internet! Yes, believe it or not. Out here in the “heartland” of America, most of the weeklies either have no web presence beyond a static page or others simply put up a couple “teasers” – like my local Wayne County Journal-Banner – and they barely do that. To those of us in rural areas, this is our only source of hyper-local news.
Andrew Davis at The Washington Times states “As long as some people want an ink-on-paper product, there will still be printed newspapers in some form, but most newspaper organizations have figured out they need to make information available however and whenever consumers want it, and they’re working furiously to do that in innovative ways.”
I do believe we’ll see more newspapers (probably larger dailies) go by the way-side during this tumultuous period. However, the newspaper is not dead and I’m pretty sure it won’t be any time soon. What do you think? The folks at BurrellesLuce and I would really love to know.