Thursday, April 08, 2010

Print Newspapers Defunct in Ten Years?

And we authors think we have issues with our product going digital.

James Tyree, who led the buyout of the Chicago Sun-Times as chief executive of the investment firm Mesirow Financial Inc., had this to say about newspapers: “Newspapers have got a good strong 10 years. By then you’ll have to evolve into something else -- maybe five years evolve into something else -- or you’ll just be out of business.” Tyree continued to say that the paper will have to move away from hard copy print by offering more original content on the Internet, such as in-depth sports and regional political coverage. Tyree noted that the Sun-Times will not charge for access to its content online.

Imagine that--a buyer of a major newspaper saying the entire newspaper industry will be entirely digital within five to ten years.

Do you think that's true?


Kathy said...

I think the city newspapers are in trouble. What do they offer that can't be found online? Younger readers aren't into reading their morning paper over coffee; they browse the internet their way. Eventually traditional readers - who do want to hold newsprint in their hands - will not be enough to keep the major newspapers afloat.

However, I think the smaller newspapers may do much better. I live in a small town and the newspaper is the only place we get much of our news. There is no internet option for school board meetings, high school football games, and the like. I suspect eventually those, too, will be internet based but it may take longer.

I was in the newspaper business for several years and believe that as writers we are in the story/ information business, not the paper business. Our message can go out digitally, too. Great question!


Unknown said...

As a former reporter, this demise of newspapers is hard to watch. Newspapers--like brick & mortar book stores--do not seem to be meeting the challenges of a digital industry. Still, it is hard to watch.

And I fail to see how newspapers will survive if they offer free access to their online stories. Maybe basing income on paid advertising? All we can do is wait and see.

Solveig said...

Unfortunately, I think it is. My husband and I are in our 70s and decided to go without a paper for a season. We relied on our computer for the information we found most interesting. Now we're receiving a paper again. I don't bother with it most days, but do occasionally read one comic strip. He likes the suduko for the day.

I realize we're unique for our age, but if we can make the switch--and we're into news--younger people will have no interest in newspapers at all.

Unknown said...

I hope not! I read some stuff online, but I much prefer having a magazine or newspaper in my hands. I don't even like watching the news on TV!
I usually am all for technology, but I really think it's sad to hear so much speculation about newspapers, magazines, and books going digital. It saddens me to realize that my generation values convenience over aesthetics.

Edwina said...

I think many large city newspapers are in trouble because this nation has become a nation dependent upon their iPads, iPhones, etc.

I hate to see that happen because I like reading the Sunday paper when it's in my hand. And I think of my parents and their generation. Many of them don't own and will never own the digital equipment needed to read online.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I do see things moving that way. I don't know how soon it will be, but it will be a disservice to people like my husband, who likes to sit in the morning and read his newspaper.

He really doesn't want to learn to use a computer.

Actually, I like having the news in paper form, too, but I could at least read it online, if I wanted to.

Lynn Squire said...

I confess, when it comes to reading the news, I'm completely digital.

When it comes to reading novels, I thought I'd never switch from paper to e-books, but now that I've toyed with my husband's iPad, I think even that's a possibility.

Nonetheless, I do find it hard to believe everything in print will switch over to digital.

Nicole said...

From the practical standpoint, the newspapers can't compete with the electronic instancy. And, in many big cities, the "journalists" don't report truth--they report their political opinions and propaganda.

I don't read any "news" in our paper and wouldn't buy it if my husband didn't want it for keeping up with the "other" side and the sports page.

Linda Glaz said...

Wouldn't even have one if our local town paper didn't arrive for free. Get most of my news from TV, internet, etc.