Some insights on the apocalypse

Posted: December 14th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Journalism, Technology | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

There’s no shortage of handwringing about the future of the newspaper industry these days and this blog has definitely contributed its fair share. But this item by John Gapper at the FT seems far more balanced than most of what I’ve read. Gapper’s argument is similar to the one I’ve made on this site:

1. We don’t need more than a few major news organizations covering national and international news. If the Miami Herald loses it’s D.C. bureau, it’s no big deal, because Floridians can get the WaPo online or the Herald can content-share with the WaPo on its own site.
2. Some things like weather and sports scores (ie pure information) can be done by any number of web start-ups and newspapers really don’t need to have staffs for this anymore.
3. City papers outside the national news hubs should stick to local news, and most of them are slowly going this way.

The innovation in Gapper’s article is the way he explains the current financial troubles of news media: no one should wring their hands for the NYTimes, even if they are starved for revenue right now, because AS the other city papers go more local, the market share of the NYT in national news will increase. The big guys will be just fine. It’s a nice silver lining in a dire newspaper economy and a well-written item I thought I should pass along.