01 Nov 2009

The Death of Newspaper – Is It a Bad Thing?

Blog, Online Advertising 11 Comments

The Seattle P.I. has gone totally digital, and this is just the beginning of a massive shift of newspapers to a digital format. There is something nostalgic about turning the pages of a newspaper. It’s musty smell and the noise it makes when you shake it out to read the inside articles are admittedly more personal than the droning sound of a double clicking mouse.

As we move further and further along the digital path conventional newspapers just cannot keep up with internet in terms of providing up to the minute news that we crave in our negative attention span society. Many of the headline news stories I read in newspapers I had already read the day before from an online news source.

In today’s world no one has time to read things twice (though we would be much better off if we did and would hopefully understand a lot more of the issues). With advertisers recognizing this digital shift, it has left ALL newspapers struggling for cash flow, and they are all high on the economic endangered species list.

The scary part for newspapers is we are not even close to reaching the potential that online news can offer. With the ever-changing enhancement of handheld devices, the ability to read online news on-the-go will continue to grow. I hate to say it, but in ten years the greatest use of newspaper will be for packing boxes and wiping off windshields.

Luckily this does not mean that newspaper people will be the ones out on the street corner wiping said windshields. As conventional newspapers continue to shrink, the demand for higher quality digital news reporting will be needed. There will of course be casualties, but good newspapers have set a standard that people want in news reporting, and in order to maximize the digital news phenomenon, these reporters and staff will be the part of the foundation.

My hope is that with this transition we will not lose the personal and local unity that newspapers provide. Though it was never what you bought the paper for, the small local stories were always what I ended up liking the most. On your third cup of coffee maybe you didn’t read the whole LifeStyle Section, but you could persuse through and come up away with something that bonded you a little more with the Seattle streets we walk each day. It made the world seem a little smaller and I hope that the digital version of newspapers can continue this bond.

Let us not totally mourn the death of the conventional PI, in the long run I believe they will be ahead of the game. If they can keep their quality up and gain momentum in the digital news format, they have the opportunity to be a shining example of what a digital newspaper can become.

(Submission by Dave Hayes)

11 Responses to “The Death of Newspaper – Is It a Bad Thing?”

  1. Angel Georgis says:

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  2. Leonie Aurges says:

    I love your take on this, could not agree more.

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  11. Bradley U. Duke says:

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