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The End of Newspapers?

Juan Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, has written a blog on the potential demise of newspapers. He discusses a few options for the survival, and mentions a university model.

I don`t know how Austrian papers are doing financially, but they print small-size papers, and it is easier to carry one around when one commutes by public transportation. If you ban commuting by car and institute/improve public transport in big cities, the use of a small format might save the paper newspapers for a while.

by Tomoko Yamamoto at 2009-03-02 07:31:32 UTC (ed. Mar 2 2009 ) Baltimore, MD , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Here’s an interesting article I’ve started but not yet finished in the New Republic:

http://www.tnr.com/story_print.html?id=a4e2aafc-cc92-4e79-90d1-db3946a6d119

First point she makes is that newspapers used to be hugely profitable, and used the revenue from ads to fund less profitable enterprises, like in-depth reporting. Also, newspapers were only ones keeping an eye on corruption by govt officials.

by Jonathan Lipkin | 03 Mar 2009 19:03 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
by improving public transport you can definitely help the environment, but i don´t think that this will help any newspaper…in austria the small formats like kronen zeitung sell a lot more than “quality” newspapers like der standard, but lets not hope that the small formats are the future of newspapers…

by the way there is a very interesting belgian documentary about kronen zeitung by nathalie borgers, “Krone – L’Autriche entre les lignes”, well worth watching!

by Hans Hochstoeger | 04 Mar 2009 08:03 | vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Rocky Mountain News went out of business last week:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/business/media/27paper.html?scp=2&sq=rocky%20mountain%20news&st=cse

by Jonathan Lipkin | 04 Mar 2009 14:03 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
as a former academic i thought Juan Cole’s model was rather interesting and definitely a possibility. Stephen Coll, on the other hand registers some doubt on this, which you can read here: http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2009/02/20/05. I dont agree with him entirely but he makes some important points, along the lines that Jonathan mentions just above from the article he cites and which i will also be reading. We live in interesting times.

by Jon Anderson | 05 Mar 2009 17:03 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I know there has been a load of doom and gloom recently, but it seems it’s not the newspaper that’s broken, it’s the utter retards running them (and yes, i am generalising, but it seems the retard academy had loads of graduates recently).

Anyone who has a slither of business sense knows you can’t run a company the way most publications are run. Let’s produce utter dribble on a daily/monthly basis, pay the people who get the content less money than a Starbucks coffee maker, but still charge high prices and moan when the figures come out.

People aren’t idiots. If the content was good, they’d BUY the publication. If you look at the most recent closure of Arena Magazine in the UK, you’d see exactly what I mean. It was such a pile of wank, i mean you felt like you’d been robbed buying it, so it’s no wonder it closed.

Maybe a cull of all the inferior publications is needed, so that the remaining ones work out where the industry went wrong and changed their ways.

by Daniel Cuthbert | 06 Mar 2009 07:03 | Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa | | Report spam→
Even with high quality newspapers, they lost readership because of the Internet. I rarely read paper newspapers except in Austria and Japan. In the US, it is almost possible to get the entire paper content online. The paper version normally has more photos perhaps. In Japan the Japanese papers put out little online, one needs to buy the paper version.

I did not compare the articles on paper and online in Austria, but I did compare the real estate section ads online and paper. The online version has more ads and is free to boot.

When I was buying a used car two years ago, I dreaded buying a paper newspaper, but it was possible to find online car ads, and I never had to buy a paper version.

Therefore classified ads section became online and only the big companies can buy paper ads with pictures.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 06 Mar 2009 11:03 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Our local papers here are doing pretty bad as well, even though readership is up for online editions of the media, ad revenue for online editions is also down. I sort of wonder if live media may win out over online internet based news sources simply due to the cost of conversion on tele-based ads.

by Aaron J. Heiner | 07 Mar 2009 23:03 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
A lot of papers are starting to be available as e-ink editions on devices such as Amazon’s Kindle. I think that is an excellent option for modern delivery of the traditional newspaper format, saving quite a few trees into the bargain.

Of course, in some places (NZ is one of them) e-book readers like Kindle are largely unavailable and the wi-fi services that support this type of delivery few and far between.

by Marcus Adams | 08 Mar 2009 00:03 | Christchurch, New Zealand | | Report spam→
I eagerly await the OLED newspaper tech myself.

by Aaron J. Heiner | 08 Mar 2009 00:03 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
If the newspapers in their traditional way have to die, let them die. Long life the to internet!

by Hugo Infante | 08 Mar 2009 01:03 | Santiago, Chile | | Report spam→
You know Tomoko, one of our local papers, the Frederick News-Post just dropped the Monday edition.

by Aaron J. Heiner | 08 Mar 2009 17:03 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
The Baltimore Sun has been trying to regain a subscription from me for some time, and I just saw their last campaign postcard showing a cheap rate.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 08 Mar 2009 18:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=5WCTn4FljUQ
That report is from 1981 !

by JR, (John Watts-Robertson). | 08 Mar 2009 19:03 | | Report spam→
I wish I had more time to respond to this very thorough and interesting article (the New Republic piece), along with the comments here. One thing I feel compelled to point out is that here in DR we support no less than 8 dailies! Of course internet penetration is only at one percent in the countryside and even in the city there is less coverage than that found in developed nations, but even so we have several (bad) online news sites and one excellent one, called Clave Digital, for which I myself have worked. Their journalism is generally top notch. They publish a weekly version in addition to their 24 hour coverage of the news which can be found on their site. The weekly version can also be downloaded. Now even though we do not have adequate internet, the paper is doing very well and has garnered much attention and many prizes. now why is that? This bears further investigation.

Another point made by Cole is the eclectic nature of newspaper content and how that managed to attract a broad readership. Clave does not do this, and according to Cole the internet’s other offerings have pretty much usurped these roles, but there may be more to “eclecticism” than merely providing classfieds, cartoons etc. I am with Daniel Cuthbert to some extent, i think the secret lies as well in quality narratives, comprehensive reporting, cross disciplinary forms of journalistic writing — we are all concentrating on what I call the cinematic model of journalism (multimedia stuff) but the model I want to develop and which is more comprehensive is what i am calling the Library model. You can read a bit about this on my blog, here: http://sparkofaccident.blogspot.com/2008/12/alices-in-wonderland-thoughts-on.html

Wish I could say more here, the article has really got me thinking. THank you Tomoko and Jonathan for bringing this to our attention.

by Jon Anderson | 10 Mar 2009 16:03 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→

Came across this interesting post: “While Others are Closing Down, Guardian Opens Up.”

How do they plan on making money then? Well, this bit from their announcement might give you a clue:

“The Guardian is positioning its Open Platform as a commercial venture, requiring partners to carry its advertising as part of its terms and conditions.”

Therefore, instead of trying to charge you for content that can easily be duplicated ad infinitum, Guardian will let anyone duplicate and use their content and then slap ads on top of everything.



by Wayne E. Yang | 10 Mar 2009 18:03 (ed. Mar 10 2009) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
I don’t think newspapers as a medium will completely disappear. There are markets that newspapers still thrive in and others where they are failing. The places where they still and will thrive tend to be more condensed cities where the majority of people rely on public transportation. A place where they are having difficulty are in large metropolitan cities where the main mode of transportation are automobiles. Speaking from personal experience, when I lived in NYC, I read the newspaper a lot more than I do now living in Los Angeles. Just my 2cents.

by Wayne Huang | 11 Mar 2009 05:03 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | | Report spam→
Wayne, I agree with your observation, but someone posted this article in the Alert section. It is titled, Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

Instead of print newspapers, will the internet-based sites like www.truthdig.com grow to afford to pay journalists to gather news? Currently most of these sites have sprung up to criticize the viewpoints expressed by traditional papers in their opinion articles.

In the US, the big newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post became the place to publish and opinionate the articles to push for the Iraq War. I think a lot of the reading public, the liberals/progressive in particular, moved away from relying on these papers as a result. I remember going to the Internet sites of a couple of UK papers to read articles. I never posted at those UK papers, but I saw a number of posts by Americans.

After I came back from Vienna, I found myself reading articles on the Internet versions of Austrian papers on a murder which took place on my last night there. Since my apartment search has not ended with the signing of a lease yet, I am still keeping up with the real-estate ads on the newspaper sites as well as on an internet site of all sort of ads (not Craigslist, but an Austrian site in German). Therefore, the newspapers can find their audience globally or nationally through the Internet rather than the delivery of print papers, so there must be a way for the newspapers to survive the potential loss of the printed newspapers.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 16 Mar 2009 00:03 (ed. Mar 16 2009) | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
Death of the newspaper is still a long way from now, in some parts of the world… here in China, I see dailies and weeklies sold everywhere, and there is a huge aging/elderly population that will keep the demand for printed media going strong. Don’t forget, the PRC has an online community that is on par with the total population of the USA… but that’s still only (roughly) one-fourth of China’s total pop! Everyone else reads the paper, and that’s a lot of eyes. Too bad it’s so tightly restricted by Xinhua.

Denver, CO was one of the last places I lived in before I left the States in 2006… when I heard about the ‘Rocky’ closing its doors, my jaw dropped.

by Rueben Marley | 16 Mar 2009 01:03 | Hangzhou, China | | Report spam→
“How To Fix American Journalism”
By Sara Catania, Posted March 12, 2009 | 11:46 AM (EST)

Excerpt from the Huffington Post article..


If American journalism is to save itself, it must look to non-profits and universities for funding and support, forging partnerships hinged on hard-hitting investigations and led by a new crop of reporters trained to gather and not simply comment on the news.

That was the message conveyed by media watchdogs who gathered Thursday morning for a two-day conference at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

“Let’s invite a group of our leading private universities and colleges to create, fund and operate a non-profit demonstration model for investigative journalism,” said Bevis Longstreth of the Fund for Independence in Journalism, a conference sponsor.

Longstreth dismissed calls for a government-funded media bailout as “crazy, absolutely crazy” because one of the chief roles of an independent media is to report on government abuse. “Being fed by the hand one is trained to bite won’t work,” he said.

Media partnerships are already underway at schools across the country, said Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity and president of the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

In recent months programs have launched in Wisconsin, Illinois, and the state of Washington, as well as in Boston, Los Angeles and Miami, Lewis said. More established models include Lowell Bergman’s UC Berkeley students working on projects for the New York Times and Frontline, as well as David Protess’ death row innocence project at Northwestern University’s Medill School.

“The diaspora of immensely talented journalists are going out and creating their own centers,” Lewis said.

Sheila Coronel, director of Columbia’s investigative journalism program, said such partnerships are crucial to a healthy media future. “Most of the watchdogs we have are middle aged – like me,” she said. “We need watch puppies, and this is where universities can play a role.”


For background, How to Save the New York Times circa December 9, 2008.

Media publications must attempt to combine with Universities if they are to survive in the near future.

by P. Money | 16 Mar 2009 14:03 (ed. Mar 16 2009) | | Report spam→
Hi Patrick, I was wondering what you had been up to. It sounds like a university model has been already begun.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 16 Mar 2009 18:03 (ed. Mar 16 2009) | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.99c75c577fa1a698c1689adb0e008445.ca1&show_article=1

by Matt Wright-Steel | 16 Mar 2009 19:03 | austin, texas, United States | | Report spam→
Perhaps the online newspaper has to evolve to make a profit as the paper readership shrinks in the US first and in those developed countries in the next few years.

It was only a few years ago that I subscribed to the New York Times fax reports. I think I paid for it. I wanted to have a paper subscription by delivery, but it was not possible in the area of Baltimore I lived. Now it is possible to subscribe to the Times paper edition, but I am no longer interested. I would rather shop and hop around various internet papers including the UK, Japan, and Austria.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 16 Mar 2009 20:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
Many media groups, newspaper owners and proprietors are still making large profits. Many of them are primarily focused on delivering dividends for shareholders, rather than worrying about the content of their publications. In the UK in the last year over 900 regional journalists and photographers have been made redundant. It’s a sad fact that a lot of local ‘news’ will now come directly from PR departments and local authorities, unscrutinised by journalists and unfiltered for truth.

by Colin Mc Pherson | 16 Mar 2009 21:03 | Liverpool, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I highly recommend a book called “Flat Earth News” by Nick Davies (see www.flatearthnews.net for details).

It illuminates a dark corner of “news” gathering and publication that I am sure a number of people would rather was left in the dark!

See also http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3560/artsbooks/11587/meet_the_press_.html for a review of the book.

by Marcus Adams | 16 Mar 2009 22:03 (ed. Mar 16 2009) | Wellington, New Zealand | | Report spam→
I just read an opinion piece mentioning a dangerous situation in which the Washington Post finds itself.
The Washington Post is apparently losing lots of money and may close in the foreseeable future, barring a deus ex machina intervention by some foreign billionaire such as saved the New York Times. While the decline of newspapers worldwide is regrettable, the Post’s troubles are really good news, and bankruptcy would be a richly deserved fate for a rag that has been an enabler of every neocon fantasy for the past 20 years. Imagine no longer having to enjoy Charles Krauthammer, Fred Kagan, John Bolton, Bill Kristol, and Robert Kaplan with your morning coffee.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 18 Mar 2009 00:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
I googled to get more info on the problem the WaPo is having.
The Post’s income dropped 77 percent last year. It earned $65.7 million, or $6.87 per diluted share, down from $288.6 million, or $30.19 per diluted share, earned in 2007
As with many newspapers struggling with falling print ad sales across the U.S., the Post’s print advertising revenue declined 17 percent in 2008 to $410.4 million.

The above is the last two paragraphs from the Washington Business Journal website.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 18 Mar 2009 00:03 (ed. Mar 18 2009) | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
A friend of mine works at the marketing department of a big Dutch news paper. She explained that 85% of the costs of publishing the news paper is made out of…the printing. A pretty strong argument for going digital.

by Michiel Bles | 18 Mar 2009 15:03 | Amsterdam, Netherlands | | Report spam→
The question is how the newspapers are going to get their revenues, if they are not going to get them from the readership.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 18 Mar 2009 16:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
US Attorney General open to anti-trust aid for newspapers.

http://www.reuters.com/article/americasMergersNews/idUSN1835208520090318

by Matt Wright-Steel | 19 Mar 2009 20:03 | austin, texas, United States | | Report spam→
Matt,

Thanks for a headup for the Reuter article.

I would like to know how the overseas newspapers are doing, particularly in Europe. Is there a similar trend to what is happening in the US? It seems the Internet connection is getting easier in Europe. I used a USB stick to connect to the Internet in my vacation apartment in Vienna.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 19 Mar 2009 22:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
I hate to say it, but the hoerse and buggy gave way to the autombole, and maybe print media needs to do the same. I’d ahte to give up the morning paper, but there is a better conent delivery system out there that is cheaper, easier and faster to maintain than the old way of doing business.

Whether content delivery is online or off, this should have no effect on the quality of journalist or integrity of reporting unless we’re talking about replacing newspapers with free-for-all blogs. If anything going online will allow for traditional newspaper to comepete head on with the likes of CNN.com, FOXnews.com or MSNBC.com as well as the growing increase in news reporting through companies like Google News or Yahoo news.

Part of the problems that are affecting us globaly todauy with the economic recession is that there are too many legacy systems in play.

Still, I can’t help but wonder what the results of an internal or external Six Sigma project on the Washington Post would reveal in the way its business operates.

by Aaron J. Heiner | 20 Mar 2009 01:03 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Amazing links Tomoko and Eleanor. Thanks for posting.

It was pretty clear to me three years ago that Newspapers were not going to survive the global internet revolution with their traditional business models. I think I made that pretty clear on more than one occasion over the past three years.

Of course, whenever I tried to communicate this FACT with communication professionals I was incessantly mocked, humiliated, and derided (particularly by grown men).

Of course, we all know who was right now in hindsight but I find this to be a bittersweet victory.

Interesting how many journalists will “shoot the messenger,” you’d think that professional journalists would understand that it’s not smart at all to “shoot messengers” – but you’d be sorely mistaken!

Part of the reason I don’t actively participate in this forum anymore is because of the constant verbal abuse I’ve been subjected to, but in particular I’m incredibly tired of being told I’m “stupid” or “crazy” for making accurate predictions, suggestions, and statements.

I haven’t seen people behave in such a childish manner since the sixth grade,
and I’m being completely serious about that.

I blame digital for dumbing down the average intelligence of professional photographers. It used to be that to be a good photographer you had to master film and chemistry which required more skill than mastering digital. Now any dumbass-asshole with a couple thousand dollars can call themselves a professional photographer. The relative ease of entry into the photography market has opened the floodgates for idiots who never would’ve been able to master darkroom chemistry given the chance.

Hopefully the collapse of the industry will help to remove all but the best and brightest from continuing the profession.

Too many idiots in journalism.

by P. Money | 23 Mar 2009 16:03 (ed. Mar 23 2009) | | Report spam→
Particularly at the top, management, the people making all the worst decisions.

by P. Money | 23 Mar 2009 16:03 | | Report spam→

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FlPFAaT2V0

“Do you really wanna live in a world where you try to blow up the one person that’s trying to help you?”

by P. Money | 23 Mar 2009 17:03 (ed. Mar 23 2009) | | Report spam→
Patrick, in the interest of honest debate, I should point out that your stance here about “any dumbass-asshole with a couple thousand dollars [who] can call themselves a professional photographer” is precisely the same stance of those journalists who mocked and derided you.

If journalism and photography are esoteric trades — a kind of priesthood for initiates who have all followed the same course of training — then how can there be any room for the voices of people who have chosen different paths?

You decry the entrenched elitism of the media — and then promote the same bias in photography.

by [former member] | 23 Mar 2009 17:03 (ed. Mar 23 2009) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Not precisely. Interpret however you want to, it’s not going to change anything at all.
The industry is at an all time low, both financially and intellectually.

I’ve been trying to save the industry for years,
before people even realized it was doomed.

There really are too many dumbass-assholes in journalism,
some of the dumbest people I’ve ever met.

I don’t have any problem with dumbasses so long as they aren’t running my country (W.)
or producing the news (i.e. Fox News).

I am against elitism in the media,
but I’m also against anti-intellectualism in the media.

There’s a difference,
an important distinction which should be noted.

That means I don’t think that idiots should run the media,
or government for that matter.

by P. Money | 23 Mar 2009 17:03 (ed. Mar 23 2009) | | Report spam→
I also don’t have a lot of mercy for media companies
that couldn’t read the writing that was clearly written on the wall by myself and others, over and over again.

by P. Money | 23 Mar 2009 17:03 (ed. Mar 23 2009) | | Report spam→
This is on the CNN website today:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/19/newspaper.decline.layoff/index.html?eref=rss_us

by George Olson | 23 Mar 2009 21:03 | San Francisco, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks, George, for the link.

I have been wondering if the American newspaper model of having a local city paper has been too much to bear when the readership has shrunk. Although most of the Japanese newspaper headquaters are located in Tokyo, they cover the entire country. There are regional papers, but Asahi and Mainich have been daily papers for all over Japan. There is a local section, perhaps a few pages at the end of the national paper about local news. I wonder if the New York Times or the Washington Post will have such local sections in various parts of the country.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 24 Mar 2009 00:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
I am adding the link posted by Nick Morris here.
This was 1981.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WCTn4FljUQ&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fandystanton%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F2009%2F03%2Fbeginning%2Dof%2Dend%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 30 Mar 2009 23:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
One of the interesting consequences of the ongoing devastation of the newspaper industry is that freelancers like myself stand to benefit. I am getting more work than ever before — why? because, at least for those organs that desire to cover the Caribbean, the papers now depend on us to provide coverage, since we dont cost as much — they dont cover expenses, they dont pay benefits, salary etc etc. this is good for me, but it may be bad in some ways for the industry, since it means that investigative work is limited by the paper’s desire to keep expenses to a minimum. To get anything meangingful done, one needs TIME, and that is what they dont want to pay for. However, it remains to be seen just how all this will play out.

by Jon Anderson | 31 Mar 2009 15:03 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Haven’t read the article yet, but here’s something interesting from Slashdot:

News: Should Google Be Forced To Pay For News?
Posted by timothy on Tuesday March 31, @12:29PM
from the according-to-his-need dept.

Barence writes
“The Guardian Media group is asking the British government to investigate Google News and other aggregators, claiming they reap the benefit of content from news sites without contributing anything towards their costs. The Guardian claims the old argument that ‘search engines and aggregators provide players like guardian.co.uk with traffic in return for the use of our content’ doesn’t hold water any more, and that it’s ‘heavily skewed’ in Google’s favour. It wants the government to explore new models that ‘require fair acknowledgement of the value that our content creates, both on our own site (through advertising) and “at the edges” in the world of search and aggregation.’"

by Jonathan Lipkin | 31 Mar 2009 16:03 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Jon, I think you are getting work also because you speak English and Spanish (the language of the area) which would eliminate a need for translators/fixers. For those editors/photo editors, anything that cuts costs for them might be welcome and they would rather give an assignment to those who are already there rather than sending someone over.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 31 Mar 2009 19:03 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
Robert Goddyn alerted me to read the following at foto8, touching specifically on the effects of the end of newspapers on photojournalism.

http://www.foto8.com/home/content/view/826/31/

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 03 Apr 2009 12:04 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→

The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a Lobby – Newspaper Lobby
comedycentral.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

From here, circa March 31, 2009:

“Last question..”

“Sure.”

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

The death of the newspaper industry.”
-Stephen Colbert


From Pat Thornton’s Journalism Iconoclast “It’s time to reinvent the newspaper industry”
circa April 6, 2009 (emphasis by me):

“When an industry goes from so high to so slow, so fast, it’s ultimately because its leaders became complacent.

They never thought that the monster profit margins would end. They never thought that diversification was important. Instead, they gleefully doubled down on print in recent years with ill-advised acquisitions.

After all, why diversify away from newspapers when they make so much money?

When you look at industries that ultimately fail, it’s because their leaders never thought a new technology or a new way of producing a product could come along. They thought they would be able to do the same thing forever. That short-sighted thinking is ultimately doomed to fail."

[…]

“If newspapers want to reinvent, it means a lot more than just finding new ways to disseminate old content. Reinvention means thinking of completely new products that tap into separate markets.

That’s why a computer maker gets into the portable music space. That’s why a computer maker starts selling movies. That’s how a computer maker becomes a dominant player in the cell phone space.

If Apple executives insisted on only being a computer company, Apple would have gone bankrupt. Instead, when the chips were down, they decided to start taking major risks and those risk paid off. Newspaper companies have to start taking real risks, and they have to be captained by those willing to take risks."

[…]

“We cannot change the complacency of the past, but we can change the course of the future. We must make a pact never to be complacent again. New technologies will be rapidly forming and changing lives in the coming years.

If the remnants of the newspaper industry want to survive and ultimately thrive, we have embrace new technology and get out of front of trends, not behind them. We have to embrace change. And, yes, that means we have to employ people in all ranks who are not married to the past and are willing to be a part of a revolution.

And so, the newspaper industry eventually won’t have that much to do with paper. Like Apple with computers, newspapers will still have print products (and they should, after all there is a market for them), but newspapers will be so much more than papers. They’ll produce products that are wildly different from newspapers.

That’s the only path forward."


Hey newspaper execs, hire me to save your company. Now. Seriously.
What are you waiting for?

Death?

by P. Money | 07 Apr 2009 15:04 (ed. Apr 7 2009) | | Report spam→
How many times do you have to prove yourself to newspaper execs
before they start paying you to save their company from certain doom?

by P. Money | 07 Apr 2009 15:04 | | Report spam→
Here’s some classist humor for you guys..

How many overpaid wealthy change-hating newspaper executives does it take
to screw in a lightbulb?

None, that’s what the unpaid interns are for!

Haha, oh..
I’m laughing so hard I almost shit my pants!

Not really,
it’s almost criminal how so many of these executives have destroyed the livelihoods
of so many decent, hardworking journalists
with their ineptitude.

You might think that the shame of their utter failure might drive more of these executives
to step down or at least hire the right people to save their companies, but apparently not.

by P. Money | 07 Apr 2009 16:04 | | Report spam→
Patrick, that is a good citation, and I pretty much agree with the assessment given there. For a look at a corollary argument developing on LS, see this thread: http://www.lightstalkers.org/reporter-with-a-camera

I argue there what I am arguing here, that we need to seize the new opportunities afforded us, not be timid, but above all recognize that journalism is in the throes of great changes and these changes need to be sweeping, we need to change our MO, we need to change our most basic ideas about what constitutes a story and how to go about creating them. We need to rid ourselves of our hidebound prejudices and editors above all need to change their thinking.

by Jon Anderson | 08 Apr 2009 15:04 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
amen patrick. amen.

by Rustom Seegopaul | 08 Apr 2009 23:04 | Georgetown, Guyana | | Report spam→
Here is a recent opinion piece on the state of newspapers on Guardian.
Clay Shirky
“Society does not need newspapers, but it needs journalism.”

Robert Goddyn sent me the link above, and he also sent me a link to an article in German, which describes an electronic newspaper stand with on-demand printing facilities. Tourists from other countries come to this electronic news-stand to get their countries` newspaper printed.
Here is the link to the German article describing the news-stand. At the moment, this service is available at the Hamburg main train station as well as at the airport. In May they are planning to have one at the Munich train station. Since the beginning of their service in December, 1000 copies have been bought, according to the article. I have been to the main Hamburg train station only once, but I recall that it was a busy place. Munich has a good size main train station, but I imagine the place that this would work well might be the Zurich train station because the station is a hub of many trains going out to the neighboring countries.

Another type of place this electronic kiosk might work would be an international vacation spot where they already sell papers from several different countries. On-demand type kiosks would work well with those papers which may not be bought all the time. I have seen occasionally a Japanese paper at an Austrian summer and winter resort, but I have not seen many Japanese there. I used to buy German papers from Germany while I was in Austria and Italy, so I can appreciate this kind of service.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 14 Apr 2009 14:04 (ed. Apr 14 2009) | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
I am going to have a rather long response to the issues raised here in about a day or two, along with a proposal for a new wholly web-inspired online news journal which I am thinking of starting. Tune in next time . . . . .

by Jon Anderson | 14 Apr 2009 20:04 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I am looking forward to reading your response and a proposal, Jon. I just wanted to put the link to one of Austrian papers, Der Standard
The reason for it is a contrast between this Austrian paper and the New York Times. Der Standard presents a visual online presence with lots of images. The American newspaper tends to have a fewer imagges online.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 17 Apr 2009 04:04 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
Jon I think you should start an online news journal. Almost anybody can start their own journal these days but I think yours would be particularly good, especially if you had good funding. If you happen to come across funding for your endeavor and would like to shop around for some original innovative ideas and initiatives, you should give me a call. I’ve got some unpublished idea juice that might suit your brand of online journal particularly well.

by P. Money | 17 Apr 2009 15:04 | | Report spam→
Patrick, that is exactly what I am planning to do. and I want to do it entirely in web terms, breaking almost entirely with the protocols ruling current models which are based on print technology still.

For an argument regarding some of the points raised by Starr’s article as well as a preliminary proposal regarding the online news organ I am planning, go to my blog, Spark of Accident HERE.

The article is really too long, I admit, but I wanted to collect all the points together in one place for my own convenience, so I could refer to them later. The proposal itself, which I will eventually circulate to investors, will be prepared over the next few weeks.

I dont expect to get such an enterprise up and running over night, and there are a few things I want to accomplish first, but i intend to start working on this soon. There are other such enterprises already up — John Vink’s KA SETis an example. But this thing I am planning will be quite ambitious.

by Jon Anderson | 18 Apr 2009 20:04 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Jon, I get an impression that the Austrian paper Der Standard seems to be successful in running their own online classifieds. Perhaps you might get an insight from them if you directly correspond with them. I am on the slow dial-up connection, but when I get my cable connection back, I can look up the name and the e-mail address for you if you are interested. If you know enough German to navigate the site, you can find it yourself. Also I will be in Vienna in a week and a half.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 19 Apr 2009 18:04 | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
Senate to hold “Newspaper” Hearings….

LINK

by Matt Wright-Steel | 20 Apr 2009 18:04 | austin, texas, United States | | Report spam→
Jon, haven’t been able to read your post yet but will do so later tonight.

Here is a timely link:
“J-Schools Play Catch-Up”
By BRIAN STELTER
Published: April 14, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/education/edlife/journ-t.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

Excerpt:

The changes are forcing colleges and universities to rethink what a journalism education should look like. The perennial debate about journalism programs — theoretical teaching versus professional skill building — has been displaced by more urgent questions: How can you help students find sustainable business models, while introducing the formerly verboten subject of the business side? What are the implications for the craft of journalism in the shift to digital? And how do you position students for an uncertain future in the media?

“I don’t know a journalism dean in the country who knows what the solution is, or where the journalism industry is going,” says Christopher Callahan, the dean of the Cronkite School. “I am convinced that those answers are going to come from people of their generation,” he says of the students. “Not my generation.”

To raise its national profile, Arizona State has invested heavily in its journalism program. In a new curriculum, Mr. Callahan is trying to instill an ethos of innovation — a sea change for an industry that has acted for decades like a slow-moving train, with J-schools the caboose. “Newsrooms have tended to be highly inflexible; innovation was not encouraged,” says Mr. Callahan, former associate dean at the University of Maryland’s journalism school. Deans across the country say they can’t afford to be the caboose anymore.

The new forward-thinking approach is to bracket traditional journalistic values withWeb classes and an entrepreneurial spirit. Take the weekly entrepreneurship course at Arizona State taught by Dan Gillmor, a former columnist for The San Jose Mercury News, in which students create products for news consumers — last fall, a team built a site for local filmmakers. The purpose of the course, Mr. Gillmor says, is to learn to “invent your own jobs.” (Because they may have to.) Mr. Gillmor also runs the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, a catalyst for the student projects; that the center even exists is a testament to the changes that are afoot within journalism education.

First-year students at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University now take “Multimedia Storytelling” and “Introduction to 21st-Century Media.” In the fall, the school of journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will be adding an immersion experience in “communication, business and entrepreneurship.” With $8 million from the former newspaper executive Leonard Tow, the graduate schools at Columbia University and the City University of New York are creating two centers for new media innovation.

Rich Beckman, a professor of visual journalism at the University of Miami and a guru of new media education, confirms the evolution:“There were deans all over the country saying, ‘We’re never going to teach computer programming in J-school.’ Well, now they are.”

by P. Money | 20 Apr 2009 18:04 | | Report spam→
Jon, finally got through the post on your blog, very well written. Here are some suggestions that may help you develop your business proposal in the coming weeks:

1) How to reward innovation? How to make this publication dynamic in its organization so that it does not fall victim to the same deficiencies of traditional organization that begot the failures of newspapers?

2) How to delineate power and authority within this publication? Great leadership is so important to the continued long-term success of your hypothetical publication, so how do you identify and appoint the best leaders? Without good leadership – direction – and coordination, most employees will underperform tremendously. Not only do you need the right talent, but you’ll also need the right direction to lead that talent in the most efficient and productive manner possible. Most shareholders are going to want a more antiquated traditional-type structure that will ultimately fail this publication unless you can sell them on a better model. What is that model?

3) Pricing, salary, and process. What should you pay contributors, how much should you charge for services, how will your reporters gather and produce content? How will you strategize the division of labor? That last one is particularly important, especially how it relates to increasing output and productivity.

If you need any assistance you know how to reach me. I’ve developed a great deal of original concepts, but I find socratic debate with like-minds to be a particularly useful way for me to dynamically improvise even better concepts, faster.

by P. Money | 21 Apr 2009 01:04 | | Report spam→
I have been in Vienna, and have been observing the efforts to sell Sunday papers in Vienna since my arrival on April 30. It turns out that there was a meeting in Vienna, a gathering of the best paper publishers in Europe. Essentially, they think that they will see the end of print daily newspapers.

Here is the article, but it is all in German. They are not pessimistic as in the US. I thought I should post it here before I lose the link.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 18 May 2009 08:05 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→

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Participants

Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria ( VIE )
Jonathan Lipkin, Professor, Photographer Jonathan Lipkin
Professor, Photographer
Brooklyn , United States
Hans Hochstoeger, photographer Hans Hochstoeger
photographer
Istanbul , Turkey ( IST )
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Daniel Cuthbert, button clicker Daniel Cuthbert
button clicker
(..)
London , United Kingdom ( LHR )
Aaron J. Heiner, Photojournalist Aaron J. Heiner
Photojournalist
(Sleeping his life away)
Baltimore, Md , United States ( IAD )
Marcus Adams, Photographer & Guide Marcus Adams
Photographer & Guide
(Guide, Photographer & Fixer)
Singapore , Singapore
Hugo Infante, Hugo Infante
Santiago , Chile
JR, (John Watts-Robertson)., Photographer JR, (John Watts-Robertson).
Photographer
Rothwell , United Kingdom
Wayne E. Yang, Writer/Photographer Wayne E. Yang
Writer/Photographer
Kaoshiung , Taiwan
Wayne Huang, Wayne Huang
Los Angeles , United States ( LAX )
Rueben Marley, freelancer Rueben Marley
freelancer
Hangzhou , China
P. Money, Creative & Futurist P. Money
Creative & Futurist
(See That Which Cannot Be Seen)
[undisclosed location].
Matt Wright-Steel, Matt Wright-Steel
Texas , United States
Colin Mc Pherson, Photojournalist Colin Mc Pherson
Photojournalist
Liverpool , United Kingdom
Michiel Bles, Photographer Michiel Bles
Photographer
(Sociological photographer )
Amsterdam , Netherlands
George Olson, Picture Editor | Industry George Olson
Picture Editor | Industry
Portland, Or , United States
Rustom Seegopaul, Multimedia Journalist Rustom Seegopaul
Multimedia Journalist
Georgetown , Guyana


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