Thursday, June 20, 2013

Woe is 'The O'

As expected, The (Portland) Oregonian will only deliver their newspaper three days a week, or four, it's hard to tell.

Here's a link to their own story which says sometime this fall, just in time for the holidays, it will print newspapers seven days a week, but only have home delivery on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with a bonus edition on Saturday.

The paper will still be available around town at some retailers, but it's safe to say many folks won't go looking for it.

The Oregonian is owned Advance Publications, Inc., which similarly downsized the New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune, and seven others to less than stellar results.

The focus for The Oregonian will be on delivering content through its website:

Of course, it also means fewer reporters, editors and photographers and those that remain will have their workload increased and their pay, most likely, decreased.

Got to keep productivity up. Shareholders, but nobody else, love it.

The journey from journalist to "content provider" will be complete.

With smartphones and tablets in almost everyone's hands these days, that is where people get their news.

I'm assuming The Oregonian will have a pay-wall that is becoming the norm on newspaper websites, but that's not certain.

What is certain is that newspapers are shrinking, in every way possible, particularly in regards to influence. The (Bend) Bulletin may be forced to drop its already downsized Monday paper, and possibly other days.

Ironically, newspapers, which are in the business of informing the public on what's new, found themselves stuck in what's old.

Newspapers failed to adapt to the changing world they were reporting on.

Even Portland's Willamette Week knew what was coming for The Oregonian almost a year ago.

Eventually, newspapers will figure out how to make money off their websites. If Google can do it through advertising, so can newspapers.

In the meantime, there will be less oversight of government and corporations from newspapers.

Television news cannot fill the void since TV stations already thrive on skeleton crews. Plus TV mainly just covers crime, accidents and natural disasters. Much of everything else is too complicated to squeeze into a "two-minute package" on the evening news.

Thank god we still have The Colbert Report and The Daily Show to explain what's really going in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment