Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Where Do We Go From Here?

There's a very good article in The Economist this week about the newspaper industry and how the paid print part of it is slowly decaying. In its typically well-considered, even-handed way, The Economist cuts through the hysteria that seems to so often accompany this topic and looks at dozens of examples from around the globe to see what newspapers are doing to try to evolve. Interestingly it goes well beyond just having a Web site. Different papers have taken different approaches to providing content online, while others have embraced free dailies (as we've seen here in the US), and others have started or bought online properties that are only peripherally related to journalism.

Any thoughts on which opportunities seem most promising for the newspaper business? It's a pretty exciting time to be in the business even though many journalists prefer the doom and gloom scenario.

Also, not sure how long this article we be available online, so read it now or print it out.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger AG said...

Warning, I'm going to go off on a tangent here. Since I had my mail forwarded to my Mom's place in NJ and haven't bothered to unforward it yet, she gets my Economist. While she's more of a Ladies Home Journal fan, she actually read this story and then called and started yelling at for being an idiot -- because I poured a ton of money into a graduate degree to keep me in what she now assumes is now a dying industry.

Damn you, Economist.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Sara said...

Wait a second here. It actually was quite an even-handed, less panicky story on the newspaper industry.

(Max, thanks for posting about this - I was planning on it, but hadn't quite finished it in time.)

Anyway, it was nice to get an international perspective and some idea of what some sucessful newspapers are doing. I think all newspaper execs (and reporters) in the states should read this story.

I thought one of the many good points was how the hard-core investigative more high-brow papers like the WSJ and NYT are expected to survive. While the other end of the spectrum - the free dailies or more sensational rags - will also thrive. It's those in the middle of the road that will disappear.

I think that's makes sense, considering papers really have to stand out to survive.

It's also encouraging to think the big investigative dogs will make it.... Oh, and since I am at one of said free dailies now, I'd like to think I won't get laid off from a newspaper job again!


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