Saturday, April 6, 2013

The end of newspapers?

Advance Publications, which owns The Oregonian, announced on Friday that one of its flagship newspapers, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, will only publish three days a week.

It's only a matter of time before The Oregonian scales back its publication days from seven days to five to three to one and then ...

As The Oregonian goes, so goes The Bulletin, Bend's daily newspaper.

A recent ad from KTVZ showing locals throwing away the paper in favor of an online app to watch KTVZ for news adds insult to injury.

Daily newspapers are old school. Smartphones are new school.

No one under the age of 50 subscribes to a newspaper. Few Americans over the age of 50 get their news from their smartphones.

Something has got to give.

Obviously, it will be newspapers.

On one hand, this isn't good for Americans because TV news is a sorry substitute for real, comprehensive news.

TV news is great for car crashes, fires and crime, but is pathetic on almost everything else that goes on in our world. If there is no quick visual to explain a news story, then there is no story that fits the TV news format.

Quite simply, the citizenry is ill-served when TV news is the only source of information that most Americans rely on. Thankfully, we have the internet to fill in the significant gap in comprehensive coverage left by TV news and newspapers

That said, daily newspapers, even though they are completely beholden to their advertisers, are worthwhile. They provide another voice, albeit biased by their allegiance to their advertisers, that is important for a society to reach sound decisions on matters of the day.

We're in the midst of dramatic change in how Americans get their news/information.

While TV news organizations may think they will become the news of record after the demise of newspapers, they are totally misguided in this belief.

TV news relies on YouTube for some of its coverage. There is no reason to tune into TV news when it itself tunes into YouTube.

The internet, for all its pitfalls of biased coverage, is the future of news.

Newspapers and TV stations will lose the day if they don't grasp this simple fact.

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