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'What if the newspaper industry made a colossal mistake?'

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The premise of this article and the study it is based on will come as no surprise to anyone here, but it's interesting nonetheless. The idea is that the decision to give away contend 20 years ago reverberates negatively to this day. People don't visit local newspaper sites because they assume them to be inferior - often for good reason.

    I've said this before on here. Get rid of the online presence. Kill it. If people want the news, they can pay for it. Period.

    What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?

    What, then, should newspapers do? In her book, Chyi counsels press barons to accept that few of them can possibly pursue a successful online strategy and adjust their distribution battle plans accordingly. Accept that the days of 25 percent-35 percent profit margins will never return, and cope with the 5 percent profit margins that are more like the profit margins of the average S&P 500 company. If publishers insist on an online edition, institute some sort of a paywall to convey that the content has value, a signal that might benefit the performance of the print product too. Should they invest more heavily in their online sites to make them attractive? My sense is that would be throwing good money after bad.
  2. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree with the premise at all, but citing studies from 2012 and 2009 undercuts the argument. Readers' habits are changing very quickly, as is the technology that delivers the sites. With Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles, bad ad tech is becoming less of an issue.
  3. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    "Then it must be a day that ends with 'y.' "
  4. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    But have we seen a business model where a digital strategy alone is enough to support a newsroom? I don't think we have.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Would you go back to reading a printed newspaper today if it was outstanding with everything you'd possibly want? I'd really like to say yes, but I can't see myself doing it. Again, the habits have just changed too much.
    Doc Holliday and YankeeFan like this.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't dispute that, either. I think it's a really, really bad outlook for news agencies as a whole. They won't make enough money online, and they can't put the genie back in the bottle.
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. People are going back to printed books, self included. I wonder how many want off the news cycle treadmill. And particularly with local news, you just don't give them a choice.
    Liut likes this.
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I've always been a printed-book guy, have never read a single page of an e-book. But making a daily newspaper commitment again is entirely different.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I like the daily paper for a couple of reasons:

    1. The agate page, and in particular the baseball boxes.

    2. The curation of the news from the prior 24 hours. You can start to feel disoriented online without the time framing that a daily product gives you.
    Alma likes this.
  10. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you guys have no faith in TRONC.
    Gator likes this.
  11. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    It's a bold and exciting time there, I've been told.
  12. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    I think I've said this before, but I will NEVER read a print newspaper again after the shit they pulled with my dad's obituary.

    In fact, the more nails I can personally drive into their coffins, the better.
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