Newspapers in the Internet Age

Carol_SE_PA_6March 2, 2009

Ann's reply to Sammy's question leads me to another question sort of in the same ballpark. How does everyone get their news today? The Philadelphia Inquirer is filing Chapter 11 and I would be lost without a daily newspaper. They blame part of it on the internet. How can you read the news on the computer while riding the bus and train? Those blackberries are too little to read. Just wondering!

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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I agree Carol. How can anyone read the news on a computer? Maybe its because my job requires I be online all day, but I want to read the "paper". On our days off, we read the morning paper on the patio, surrounded by our roses.

If the Inquirer actually goes under (unlikely), DW and I will be lost.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:55AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Seems like there has been a few cases of newspapers going out of business recently. A friend whose husband works in our newspaper advertising division tells me he just lost his job due to decreased circulation.

The only time I read a newspaper article online is if I'm looking for something specific in another state or distant city where I want to see the whole article - we subscribe to our local paper and the Seattle PI (PI being in danger itself I hear), will pick up the Oregonian (Portland) from time to time also since we're located in between those two major cities.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Harry - I guess you and I are "old school." I read the "Inky" on the bus and subway on my way to work. I love to take my time to read the Sunday paper cover to cover. Being on the computer too much is not relaxing at all. It is a changing world and I guess we have to change also!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:40PM
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Morz - I occasionally read articles online, especially something from the archives. I like being able to e-mail articles to family and friends; it beats having to cut, paste and mail them.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:44PM
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I only read the paper online. A few years ago I had a subscription but it felt so wasteful and would often get thrown away without having read much of it. Now I have enough breaks at work that I can read what I want online from whichever source (nytimes for national news, for local news, yahoo for odd news, cnn for stuff I can't find elsewhere). I drive to work so I can't be reading the paper then and I usually watch the tv news when I get home so I don't want to read more news afterwards. If I want something more in depth and local then I'll read the free local weekly, but I usually read that online as they have more online content than what they can afford to print and it's easier to go to their webpage than it is to actually pick up a paper.

I do still have a subscription to Newsweek for the times when I want to sit and read at home. It's more in depth than a newspaper and it is nice to have something to read that is offline.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 5:02PM
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bluesibe(NoCa 9a)

What an absolutely wonderful topic. The SF Chronicle announced that it may close its doors due declining ad revenue. For many years I worked for the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner, I cut my teeth learning to sell advertising there.

The internet has changed the world. The target youth market reads mostly online content, if they read any news at all. The biggest money maker for newspapers has always been the Classified ads. Look at the number of classified ads, they have gone down. Site's like Craig's List are now the goto place to find rentals, sell stuff, find dogs, dates and etc. Youth are very hip to carbon footprints and newspapers use paper, and may view going online to shop, find travel bargains, read ezines and newspapers, find dates, join gardening communities etc. as a way to save the earth from global warming. And, BTW, the New York Times is millions of dollars in dept and with this rough economy may have trouble paying for outstandling loans.

Look for Broadsheets to go down to tab size, look for major metropolitan newspapers to print 1 to 4 editions per week instead of 7 and expect those newspapers that can stay afloat to bump up the online presence.

And, ad revenue is hurting for TV stations as well. We will no longer see some great in depth reporting, or investigative journalism. It's very sad, but a fact.

If your kid wants to be a journalist, tell them to go to Med school.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 11:53AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Our nearest city had two newspapers. One was bought for many millions, but not used and that name was sold recently for $30T. The surviving newspaper got lazy and didn't cover the surrounding counties. Now almost all of the surrounding counties have daily newspapers (mine has two weeklies). The city newspaper has shrunk in size, content, and doubled in price. Their most recent action was to buy the local free weekly independent that is chockabrim with advertisers who never use the newspaper.

If I want breaking news I go to google news and scribe down to the AP and Reuters takes on the stories. Local news comes off of the websites of the local stations and newspapers. One sort of local TV station is worth watching; they still send reporters out to cover stories but they are for Tri-Cities (up the road) not Knoxville (closer). The TV station even covers Knoxville news that the local media (plural) don't.

I have been unhappy with the local media for over a decade. On radio I heard about a little boy, who was on a jetski down in Chattanooga, and the jetski took off with him on it alone and killed him when it ran into a bank of the lake. It was a horrible story that really illustrated the danger to children of carelessness on jet skis. I called all the local TV stations and asked them to cover it. I gave them contact numbers and specifics. About an hour after it happened. None did. But two of the three devoted five minutes of local, Knoxville news to the 500 pound man in ??New York was was moved out of his apartment for the first time in years....and they had pictures of his move. I was so mad .....
The media are lazy. (I hate to make blanket statements.) The media fill their precious air time with trifles (We have a local woman who has been showing women how to accessorize for thirty years.)
Almost end of rant.
Envision a news cast where a reporter is standing in a corn field in August with corn below his knees. It is a story about the drought. Then five minutes later the weather bimbo gushes about how we'll have a sunny dry weekend and those pesky showers will stay to our north.

End rant, for now.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 11:02AM
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The most interesting newspaper seems to be the Guardian as they still cover everything-
not very topical or tropical though.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 8:44PM
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The thing is, most people never read the entire paper anyhow. The guys who read sports were typically not going to read the home decorating section and the people who read about style and marriage announcements weren't often the people who were particularly interested in the business section. So having all of the various sections delivered to your house was a waste of paper, energy, ink, and effort.

There are specialty papers and "niche" papers that are actually doing fine. There are free dailies in many cities that cover a few national news stories, a few international stories, and then have a lot of local listings and events. Here in NYC, people would read the first few pages of the NYT and then the editorials and throw away the rest of it. And for that you now have to pay $1.50. So the little freebies found a ready market and there are a few of them out there now. Their rates are less so the cost per set of eyeballs is lower for the advertisers and that's where they put their money.

When I go to other cities, I always look at the papers and they always strike me as very provincial. New Yorkers don't like to see themselves that way, but we are too. Our papers have loads of coverage of sports guys, various crimes, etc., and local politics. When I point it out, people get very defensive.

At any rate, I stopped getting a paper regularly many years ago. I really don't care about what some "celebrity" is up to, and as the People magazine approach came to define journalism, it seemed pointless to keep paying for something that I just threw away. The people who care about celebrities can read all they want and can find pictures too. Ditto sports, cooking, whatever. And with the 24 hour news channels on cable, no reason to think you'll ever miss anything.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 8:24PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

The local newspaper here is pretty weak, and getting weaker. I miss the days when we had a San Diego edition of the Los Angeles Times with a big fat Sunday edition to enjoy with a cup of coffee, but that is long gone.

My favorite newspaper has streamlined or eliminated much of its statistical reporting, and justifiably so; it's all on the computer. But I still love a well-written piece of journalism with some depth to it, and I can find that every day in the Wall Street Journal. Thankfully not much celebrity silliness, but they do include a daily quirky story, usually entertaining.

Tv news mostly gags me. I was stuck in an airport for two hours recently with a blaring tv screen repeating and expanding on the lamest "news" imaginable. Fortunately I had some earbuds and music for escape.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 5:07PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I use the computer more than I want, and I do enjoy the newspaper away from the screen. Recently I had a training session on how to use the Smart Board. After 2 hours of looking at the screen and the board, I realized how annoying I find the computer screen. I like the paper newspaper.

Having said that, I do go to Google or Yahoo, and scan through the topics to see if I am missing something.

I don't care for the word "Global". I feel like everything is global, and would like to see more human interest right around me. Sometimes I feel like an invisible statistic in our "global society". I am just a number who feels like everyone else. I wish newspapers would concentrate more on neighborhoods or small sections within a big city. There seem to be fewer and fewer local reporters, and everything comes off the AP press.

To me it would be interesting to know that the church on the corner is having a square dance, the Lions Club or some group is cleaning up the park. The local Garden Club is planting some tulips, and giving profits to the Salvation Army. So many things happen in our local neighborhoods that are not noticed. Our students love to volunteer, but there are not nearly as many opportunities as there could be.

Oh, well. I do like the GLobal aspects of the Garden Web.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 7:45AM
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I am guessing that a lot of the news online comes from newspapers. What happens when they cease production? I guess they will use AP UPI and Reuters. There was an interesting article in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday about a state senator that was being tried for a multitude of crimes that was first bought to the attention of the FBI by an investigative article that was written in the newspaper. Will someone online do that ?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 1:29PM
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It is not just lack of readers, newspapers have lost all their classified advertising. Here in CT newspapers are not read by commuters but by people mainly interested in keeping up with local news. Local sports gets huge coverage. Our tiny town of Wilton has two papers and a by-monthly magazine believe it or not. How is this possible you ask.. because of the demographics. And the real estate advertising alone brings in huge ad revenues. Until recently of course. My second son is a photographer for The Connecticut Post which is owned by Herst. He just survived a big layoff but another is coming. CT is the most over newspapered place in the country. I think there are 17 major papers in this little tiny state with many more local papers. I get four papers including the Wall St .Journal and often I buy the NY Times and I subscribe on line to the Times. We do the crossword most days.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 9:20PM
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