Monday, January 7, 2008

[Youtube] "Your Medium is Dying"

Found at Notes From a Teacher.


Jen said...


But your mother does not approve.

Bernstein said...

Gee, if print medium does die where will bloggers find material to comment on?

Dennis said...

Bernstein, you have to know better: online. That's all bloggers use anyway.

Journalism isn't going to die (though it may change substantially, and not necessarily for the better).

Paper won't really die either. It'll remain as a niche product.

Bernstein said...

Yes but what most of bloggers comment online was originally in print.

Web media is not going to replace the printed page. There isn't a newspaper in the entire country that could sustain a quarter of their staff from online revenue.

Advertisers, for good reason, know that web advertising just isn't as effective as an ad in the local paper.

Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer,Safeway, Albertsons all have well trafficked websites, yet they continue to shill out big bucks for newspaper ads.

The reason newspapers are a more effective advertising medium is because we'll look over ever page of a paper to see what the stories are and in the process see the ads.

Online, you see a list of stories headlines, click the ones that interest you, read the story and then move on without lingering on the page to view the ads.

Internet users these days are pretty savvy and for the most part ignore banner advertising and text ads.

I admit newspapers have to get smarter about the way they do coverage -- more local stories, better researched,good graphics,more engaging storytelling ,etc.

Look at our local daily rag as an example of what doesn't work, Three pages of 10-inch local news and the rest of it stuffed with AP stories about national events we've all read on the web earlier in the day.

This notion that newspapers need to move their readers to the online version is self defeating; the fewer readers who buy a hard copy in favor of the website, the less revenue for the paper. Less revenue equals few reporters. Fewer reporters equals less news. Less news equals less readers. Less readers equals less ad revenue and so and so forth.

And then when the paid journalist are all gone where is the news going to come from?

Are these much ballyhooed citizen journalists going to spend hours of their own time following city council meetings and water board elections for free?

Will they spend the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars it takes to get public documents to hold the government accountable?

And most distressing of all, who is going to cover the Britney Spears beat?

Dennis said...


You make me laugh with your funny jokes of paper advertising!

As far as I know, a very large percentage of people who read the tuesday advertising circulars are old.

Really old.

Us young'ins, we don't want coupons. And we don't read paper circulars. In particular, I don't read newspaper advertising in the slightest. Ever. (Apparently, my web habits changed my physical paper habits. Also, I have a moral objection to advertising.)

I agree with you that online advertising RIGHT NOW won't pay for a newsroom.

Whether it ever will is another question. I'm skeptical.

But the fact remains that many newspapers are hemorrhaging money due to lost readership and lost advertising dollars. SOMETHING has to change.

You're starting to sound like Frank Ragulsky. Don't ever assume that the public thinks it needs newspapers just because they are essential to a functioning democracy. If the desire to be informed goes away, then market-supported businesses that were fed by that desire will shrink and shrivel.

Citizen journalists may ascend not because we're any good (though some are pretty sharp - just not me), but because we're all that's left.

Oh? And the fact that most stories written online also run in print editions is becoming increasingly meaningless, as many papers post the stories online rather than wait for the dead tree edition.

24 hour news cycle, baby!

I stand by my original claim that paper will remain as a niche product - but that also means it won't be the dominant medium anymore, at least not in the US.

One last thing: There will ALWAYS be a citizen journalist ready to cover the Britney Spears beat.

Sad but true.

Roxy said...

Hey! I'm a 20-something that cuts coupons!

Sh*t. Am I old? :)

I think national newspapers are without question-- dying. We get that information online. Why would I subscribe to the print version of NYT if I can get it online? Same goes for the Oregonian or any other state-centered newspaper across the country.

Community newspapers as a whole are increasing circulation because it's (generally) the only place to get local news. Community newspapers need to do a better job of covering their community's like a blanket, condense the AP content to a page or two (in the "local daily rag's" case maybe a state page, and a national page) and focus on their readership area and nothing more. Take a look at the Portland-based TV news stations: How much time do they dedicate to national news? Very little. And there's hardly ever any international news. People want local content and they want it NOW. Print, online, who cares just as long as it's local and timely.

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