Friday, December 19, 2008

Communities will feel loss as newspapers fade

Barbara Shelly writes:

Newspapers are jettisoning staff and taking extreme measures to survive.

Detroit’s two dailies rocked the profession this week by announcing they’ll deliver to homes only three days a week. People who wish to read the news of their city the other days can buy the paper at a newsstand or go online. It’s possible that at least one major city will be without a print newspaper at the end of 2009.

The problem, boiled down, is that readers and advertisers are moving from newsprint to the Internet, but Internet advertisements pay only a fraction of print ads.

We in this business can’t seek a bailout. It’s difficult to be a watchdog of government if you’re beholden to it.

We don’t ask for the public’s sympathy for our uncertain future, or even our laid-off, dearly missed colleagues. Workers in all kinds of fields are unemployed.

But we appreciate the show of support from people who tell us that, love it or hate it, they can’t imagine losing their daily newspaper.

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