Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Slow Death of American Newspapers

Tim Giago writes:

Even as my weekly newspaper, Indian Country Today, continued to grow, I refused to put it on the Internet. I figured, and I believe quite correctly, that if readers could get the paper free on the Internet, they would not subscribe to it. And I think that in an effort to keep up with technology, the decision by newspaper publishers to put their newspapers on the Net has been the cause of their continuing decline. When I sold Indian Country Today it was not on the Internet and it had a weekly circulation of 24,000. It is now on the Internet and its weekly circulation has declined to 7,000.

The "Old Gray Lady" of newspapers, the New York Times, is now suffering because their publisher chose to put the paper on the Internet. The bean counters at the Times discovered too late that the paper could not make the money on advertising on the Internet that it made the old fashioned way, by placing ads in the newspaper itself. They soon found that no advertiser would pay the price of an ad placed in the newspaper for an ad on the Internet. And advertising is the life's blood of the newspaper industry.


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