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From his blog: Imagine if the New York Times migrated entirely to the World Wide Web. Could it support, out of advertising and subscriber revenues, as large a news-gathering apparatus as it does today? This seems unlikely, because it is much easier to create a web site and free ride on other sites than to create a print newspaper and free ride on other print newspapers, in part because of the lag in print publication; what is staler than last week's news
"The LA Times, Chicago's Tribune and both dailies in Philadelphia are bankrupt. The New York Times is close to bankruptcy, losses in the first quarter were more than $70 million. The Washington Post lost $54 million, the Boston Globe almost went under last month until unions agreed to pay cuts averaging 10 per cent," he said. "Last year more than 15,000 people lost their jobs in newspapers in America."
The picture he painted of the British daily and Sunday press was hardly more encouraging, with daily paper readership in Britain declining 13 per cent in five years, and Sunday papers losing 23 per cent over the same period.
So, for every reader we lose from the paper we need to pick up 10 online.
Then there are the news commentary sites, like The Huffington Post, Newser and the Daily Beast and in Australia sites like Crikey and Mumbrella.
Most of the content on these sites is commentary and opinion on media coverage produced by the major outlets.
These sites are covered in links to wire stories or mainstream mastheads. Typically, less than 10% of their content is original reporting.
The sites that produce a high proportion of original content aren’t
Blogs and a large number of comment sites specialise in political extremism and personal vilification. Radical sweeping statements unsubstantiated with evidence are common. One Australian blogger who shoots first and checks facts later is proud to boast that his site is “Not wrong for long”. Mainstream media understands, most of the time, that comment and opinion is legitimised by evidence.
NEWSPAPERS around the world are being challenged and many suffer from declining circulation and intense competition from an explosion of new media. Young people, we are told, no longer look to newspapers but rely instead on the internet. Some self-proclaimed media experts have predicted the demise of newspapers over the next decade.
They are realizing they can't control perception anymore.