Sunday, December 21, 2008

Delivering the news

Dale Davenport writes:

Newspapers for more than a century have been profitable in large part because of classified advertising, particularly automobiles, real estate and employment ads, and retail advertising, particularly from big department stores, clothing stores and those that sell home furnishings including appliances and electronics.

Take a close look at the economy and tell me which business sectors are particularly hurting.

All that aside, if delivering the news on paper seems old-fashioned these days, the transition from newsprint to cyber images might be all but done by now if the industry had figured out how to make its web sites profitable. Reporting and distributing the news is labor intensive, and therefore expensive. It takes people to put newspapers together -- quite a lot of them actually -- if the news they contain is to meet standards of accuracy that readers have come to expect and are willing to pay for.

AND THERE is the nub of the problem. A ton of information is available on the Web today, much of it free. Why pay to have it delivered on paper?


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