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Newsprint [Mar. 18th, 2009|11:11 pm]
Yesterday, the Seattle PI printed its last daily edition. It exists now only as a news site on the web, employing only a fraction of its old reporting staff.

A while back, I'd said that I expected newspapers to vanish in the near future. I pegged it at five years, though that was a while ago and it's now about 4.5 remaining. To clarify, I'm thinking about daily printed newspapers, not coupon circulars and free ad gazettes.

It's an interesting battle between the archaic(?) machinery of distributing printed news versus the romanticism surrounding the product. The web is instant, two-way, and low-cost or free. Newspapers, though, represent entrenched journalism and standards that are not widespread on the web (yet). Will our need for established channels let them hang on in the face of superior technology? Will they adapt and evolve, as the Seattle P-I is doing, bringing their journalism ethic to the web and challenging other sites on their own terms?

I'm not anxious to see a demise of newspapers by any means but it's what I see in the cards. Perhaps I'm too cynical and quick to dismiss them... What do you think?

Poll #1367984 Print Newspapers

Most daily print newspapers will be gone...

even sooner!
within the next 4-5 years, yeah.
within the next 5-8 years.
within the next 8-15 years.
much later than you'd expect!

[User Picture]From: swandog
2009-03-19 10:25 am (UTC)
There are still a LOT of older people that read the printed paper and don't read it on the Net (or even have the Net), and many of them are still gonna be around for awhile yet, so I imagine the papers will still be around too. My son just got a job delivering newspapers, and his route is mostly based in the part of the neighborhood where the elderly live.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2009-03-19 01:58 pm (UTC)
Quite right and the demographic of newspaper subscribers is trending older, from what I've heard. But how long is that sustainable? Is that audience a large enough population to sustain more than a few national-level papers? I'm less certain (but perhaps too doom and gloom).
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