It will be interesting to see how daily newspapers work to reinvent themselves in the process. I think it’s going to take more than simply migrating their print strategies to the online world.
In the first three months of this year, the average amount of time visitors spent on newspaper sites fell by 2.9% to 44 minutes and 18 seconds per month, or less than 1½ minutes per day. In the same period, the average number of pages viewed per unique site visitor dropped by 6.6% to 47.2 per month…
The decline in the average duration of sessions at newspaper web pages suggests that visitors are not utilizing the industry’s sites as primary destinations, but, rather, as places to episodically view individual articles highlighted by Google News, Drudge, Digg, blogs or any of the thousands of other places they might be.
This seems to suggest that people are getting their news from some sort of “portal” online, perhaps clicking over to a daily newspaper’s site to get localized news, then back to that portal.
With that in mind, I think local newspapers need to carefully examine their place in the online world of news gathering and dissemination. We don’t read a website the way we might peruse a newspaper, and newspapers need to account for that reality when assessing their Internet business strategies.