Monday, December 05, 2005

The future of newspapers

I think it’s now pretty clear that newspapers are being buffeted by forces that promise to reshape their very future. The good ones will evolve and thrive, while the not-so-good ones will falter and die.

For perspective, it helps to remember that this is hardly the exclusive domain of print media. Traditional news institutions are all in the middle of adjusting to the new world order imposed by the arrival of the Internet.

I’ve written previously about it here, and continue to look for examples of media organizations that get it. The Boston Globe’s Ombudsman, Richard Chacon, published this piece, The Globe’s future in WiFi, in yesterday’s paper. It’s fascinating reading because it reflects some creative thinking about how newspapers interact with their readers, and how they will need to leverage new technologies to maintain relevant relationships with them into the future.

Disclosure: it’s in my best interest to write about tomorrow’s newspapers because my career is increasingly dependent on the existence of a thriving media-based community. Call it job security.

Your turn: What other creative things are newspapers in your part of the world doing to thrive in the Internet age? What would you suggest they do?


Mrs. Falkenberg said...

Trust me, the papers here are doing nothing. Most of the articles are from a New York paper, which means they have little to no relevance to Yukoners. I'm constantly surprised that we actually seem able to support two papers.

Russ said...

Hey Carmi.
The newspaper in my hometown is doing NOTHING that I can see to re-invent itself in this electronic society. Maybe we need to take a look at Kodak... they are trying to keep pace with the digital media but it may be a little to late...

Anonymous said...

It's all about podcasting and online interactive content here -- But, then again, here on the westcoast, we're bleeding edge adopters of technology, and quickly tire of outlets that don't keep up with the times.

Plumkrazzee said...

Nothing is being done here either. Which doesn't surprise me at all, due to the fact that we are usually the LAST place on earth to catch up with the rest of the world. First of all, the price of our local paper is atrocious. And placing ads is even worse. I know they are hurtin', but c'mon. $47 to run an ad for selling your car? For 4 days??! They better figure something out soon. To me, it makes way more sense to drop subscription prices, and increase your readership, than drop your readership and increase your price. But, hey, what do I know?! =)

Anonymous said...

I have to confess, I've stopped reading the print version of my local paper. It got too expensive, and I didn't have time. I sorely miss spending Sunday afternoons sprawled on the floor near the fireplace with the thick Sunday edition spread out before me, though.

However, every paper I've encountered recently has a substantial online edition. In San Jose, online-only classifieds are free, and both the San Jose and Dallas papers feature blogs as part of their roundup of columnists. (Personally, I think I write better than the Dallas blogger, but, I have NO writing resume, etc.)

I have to confess, though: I'm not a podcast fan. Oh, sure, once in a while it's fun, but mostly? I read so much faster than anyone speaks that I become impatient.