Some believe the popularity of the Internet and the increasing number of portable electronic devices are the death knell for the newspaper industry. Why subscribe to a bulky tree-killing news medium when you can pull it up for free online? Newspapers force you to read lengthy articles to get to the main point, while online newscasts summarize everything in concise format.
Newspapers are changing their issue days and methods of distribution, revamping distribution areas, filing for bankruptcy, and even closing their doors. Some optimists enter the market to fill the empty spots left by the old giants. However, the trend does not look positive as more and more publications wave the white flag every day.
The impact of this trend reaches far beyond the publication and its readership. Newspaper advertising rep firms such as Newspapers First are also shutting their doors. The organization, a conglomeration of the sales companies of several newspaper groups, shut down in June. This group represented 34 daily publications in major markets throughout the U.S. The newspapers it included reached a weekday audience of 21 million, 29 million each Sunday. Local Web sites run by the company generated over one billion page views per month.
Here is prime evidence that the status of the print media industry affects the online world. Rather than attempting to put print publications out of business, online news sites should work with them to provide complimentary services. This will create a win-win situation and ensure that in the end, the reader benefits.
As the world of print media continues to change shape, some still hold tight to their stacks of tiny newsprint, immersing themselves in articles day after day. One has to wonder what hotels will provide on guest doorsteps if the newspaper becomes obsolete. Perhaps a shiny new e-reader? This could be both a blessing and a curse, as hotel rates will surely increase.