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< Weather fun this weekend | Main | Ridder era ends at Star Tribune >

Will newspapers pull the plug on print?

Posted at 10:41 AM on December 5, 2007 by Melanie Sommer (3 Comments)

Given the shaky financial situation many newspapers are facing, and their growing reliance on online revenue, some wonder whether a day will come when some newspaper just pulls the plug on its printing press, and publishes exclusively online. Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute journalism training center, says it's time for some discussion on the topic.

Comments (3)

Of course the day will come when most print newspapers disappear. A few will remain. For example The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Most will not. Newspaper reporting is an archaic method of journalism that simply cannot compete with online news sites. Online news is updated minute-to-minute. And thousands of people have the space to write about issues--via blogs. News does not die with the newspaper. In fact news, for better or worse, is covered more now than it ever has been.

Another is this romantic quality we place on the newspaper. People seem to relish the physical reading of the paper. At the breakfast table. On the bus to work. Etc. However there are far better physical things to read. For instance a good novel. Or really any book for that matter. Reading also does not die with the newspaper. The time we save getting our news quickly should in fact give us more time to read things such as a novels that involve style, depth, and to this reader greater romantic associations.

Here's to the death of the newspaper. Why not start with the Strib?

Posted by Alex | December 19, 2007 1:40 PM

Alex says that "Newspaper reporting is an archaic method of journalism that simply cannot compete with online news sites."

But there is a fundamental flaw in this argument. Online news sites, unless they are connected to a newspaper or broadcast news organization, or have attempted to assemble a newspaper-type staff (like MinnPost) do not employ reporters and editors to cover the news, aggregate stories, fact check, copy edit, or do investigative reporting. Nearly all online news sites simply relay information and stories that are written and compiled by reporters and editors working for more traditional news organizations.

So if the traditional news organizations die, online news sites will have nothing to report. They will just be blogs full of gossip and opinion, devoid of serious reporting and editing. As the preseident of AOL said, "We don't want to see newspapers die out. If they do we will have no sources of news for our sites." (Frontline documentary "New Wars.")

Posted by Mike | January 14, 2008 1:12 PM

As the digital age was supposed to mean that we print less paper, but instead we print much more, the movement of news from the printed page to the internet will mean that there is more information to wade through. It may not mean that there is more insightful information. It may only be more. More questions of who to believe, more questions of who knows what they are talking about, more chances to find the truth, more chances to find facts otherwise not seen, more chances to distort the fats and more responsibility placed on the reader to be perceptive.

Posted by RJ Hagen | April 14, 2008 10:59 AM

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