This week David Carr at the New York Times published an article about the dismal future of print media. As I’m sure you know, the news holes are smaller, the publications are thinner and today’s consumer looks for instant online content rather than picking up a hard copy.
Print media is not giving up without a fight, though. Every day I find a new reporter on Twitter, blogging or directing me to their online content. They’re trying to adapt and working hard to make it work. But Carr’s article struck a cord with me…is print media’s demise a natural progression? Or is there more that can be done to save these dying publications?
In his ideal world, Carr would gather the newspapers of the nation together to agree on things like:
- No more free content online – The Web has become the primary delivery mechanism for quality newsrooms across the country, and consumers will have to participate in financing the newsgathering process if it is to continue.
- No more free ride to aggregators – Google, The Huffington Post and Newser have built their audiences and brands on other people’s labors. Most aggregators are not promoting newspaper content; they are repurposing it to their own ends.
- No more commoditized ads – Ad markets and remnant sales have been a lose-lose proposition, ginning up more and more ads for less and less revenue, turning a grim dollars-into-dimes model into a hopeless dimes-into-pennies proposition.
- Throw out the Newspaper Preservation Act – Regulatory reform will allow the industry to consolidate to an economically feasible model and preserve newsgathering.
What do you think?