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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: shockwave77598
2009-03-19 03:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, and I romanticize about the printed media myself (being a writer.) But time marches on and progress has left the printing press in the history books. Ecologically and Economically, it is bad to continue to destroy expensive forests just to make a product that can only be used for one day, then tossed in the landfill. Especially since the web is always up to date, costs less in daily materials, and can have animations and video within them.

While I sympathize with the old farts at the barber shop who no longer have a newspaper to read, it isn't 1959 anymore with nickle gasoline and paper at a buck per ton. Paper and gas are far more expensive now, and throwaway newspapers are simply not affordable to make anymore.
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