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Journalism

Who wants yesterday’s papers?

Sang Mick Jagger a long time ago. (Though his lyrics might have been stressed on something else…)

Still the words, though completely put out of context, are true in more than one sence. The world of news is changing in how they are being spread, who is writing the articles, and in what format they are demanded.  According to Paul Gillin, a well known technology expert and journalist, small local newspapers are suffering the most in a time of declining newspaper sales. Often, the local newspapers don’t have the opportunity to keep up as the demand of news changes into digital form. Instead they are dependent on a traditionally high sales of newspapers, which been decreasing the last 15 years. One might even argue, that the news consumption increase at the expense of local newspapers and the declining sales of news in paper form.

What does this mean? It implies that even though more news are read in general, suffering are the regional papers with a non-daily edition.

So here two problems arise. Firstly, regional news are having a harder time to survive. Secondly, the printed news decline. And local newspapers are suffering from both.

An interesting example for solving the first problem is the Bay Citizen. BC is an non-profit organization founded and funded by philantropist Warren Hellman in order to revive the local news of San Francisco. The project was until recently lead by Liza Frazier, CEO of the Bay Citizen, who points out that she has created jobs in a field of journalism that is disappearing- local news. Even though they are highly dependent on revenue from memberships, foundation grants and gifts, they still make profit through advertising and sponsorships. Appeareantly, this service is demanded. Bay citizen however, provide its users with documentation and news primarily online and with apps, but also through radio and television. No printed version.

There seem to be ways out, but it demands that news organizations revise their business models and find new ways of covering the costs. Realize what lead to the news reader decline. Being aware of strategic change in news business. More on the same topic soon.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Who wants yesterday’s papers?

  1. Hey mattias! I know exactly the problem you´ve describes in your post. I live in the suburbs of berlin and we have a little local newspaper. They used to publish twice a month, now they only can afford once a month- it´s a real shame. But the local newspaper have one advantage I think. They always (or at least ours does) report on local news. I wouldn’t find those in a big newspaper.
    I really liked your introduction btw.

    Posted by anne | November 29, 2011, 12:38 pm
  2. Hey Mattias!

    Very creative beginning of your post! Thats a good attention-catcher! I like your article and your style is really good. I could imagine that an image would enhance the entry even more.

    And Anne, I agree with your comment, it’s a pity that so many newspapers have to reduce their frequency of publication…

    Posted by vikii | November 30, 2011, 2:32 pm
  3. Hi Mattias!
    Wow! I am very impressed with your very neutral way of writng that looks at every quote and opinion from a very sceptical point of view. It is very hard to hide the own opninion without losing the chance to provoke the reader to think. After reading your post I started to think about the consequences of this development and what might be done to save regional newspaper.
    You also achieve to narrow down the problem to its essence which is hard because it is an issue affecting many sectors, people and businesses. Instead of having to read tons of information the reader is provided the important information at once!
    Well down!

    Posted by Katharina | December 18, 2011, 4:24 pm

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