Death of Newspapers
By Arnold Kling
The Washington Post reports that newspapers are struggling.
“Print is dead,” Sports Illustrated President John Squires told a room full of newspaper and magazine circulation executives at a conference in Toronto in November. His advice? “Get over it,” meaning publishers should stop trying to save their ink-on-paper product and focus on electronic delivery of their journalism.
The Post provides statistical evidence of the drop in newspaper mindshare. It looks at the percent of people reading a newspaper in daily in 1967 and in 2004, broken down by age group.
|Age Group||1967 readership rate||2004 readership rate|
This is old news. In my News of My Death , which I updated for my book, I pointed out that these demographic trends, along with the migration of classified advertising to specialized Web sites, portend the demise of for-profit newspaper publishing.
Online, newspapers still suffer from what in my book I call the silo mentality. That is, they want to keep their content separate from other content that is just a click away. The most dramatic example recently was a newspaper that threatened legal action against other sites that even link to its stories.
For Discussion. Will newspapers have to escape the silo mentality in order to survive on line? Will this mean a convergence between blogging and reporting?