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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: vermillionfox
2009-03-19 04:39 pm (UTC)
I'm also going to go with convenience being the major reason papers are going to stay likely for the next 50ish years. When people wake up and start breakfast, they don't have time to boot up windows before work. If they do start the comp, they'll overlook the time and risk being late, whereas a paper you can plop out and see the headlines. Heck most people don't even look at the headline, they just read the comics.

Also newspapers have a constant buyer market for people who don't read them. The arts and craft folks, schools, and mechanics all commonly use newspaper for projects on a common basis. Oh, that and coupon clippers. my god women clip those things like yoou wouldn't believe. D:

I do see many frilly papers going away in the next decade, and even half of the major city newspapaers. I can see them dropping out unnecessary sections like the food/movie ones or moving them to once a week. Most cities who lose a paper will migrate towards others that will stick around such as the NY Times and USA Today.

On another note, magazines.... those things are going to get hammered and I see a ton of them vanishing by 2020. Even MAD Magazine is now quarterly, and that says something.
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