Death of a Newspaperman

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If the only good news is bad news, then newspapers must be doing great. Their forecast has been consistently dreary and their fall has been predicted as inevitable. Their circulation has been in constant decline, and they are not experiencing the huge profits that they had been experiencing before. What has caused this sudden economic downfall? The invention and spread of the internet. The invention of the Internet brought with it cheap publishing and massive audiences. It has also brought about a sudden change in the way that business is being conducted that newspapers have been having trouble keeping pace. The Internet has also given rise to cheap classified ads, and sapped away at the lifeblood of the newspapers (Farhi 15). All of these factors, from cheap publishing to the change in business to the loss of classified ads, have contributed to the collapse of the newspapers.

Newspapers used to enjoy a "scarcity" advantage. Only newspapers could afford to "profitably collect, print and distribute the day's news, and it could raise prices even as it delivered fewer readers each year. Monopoly newspapers were able to deliver huge profit margins. They enjoyed this advantage up until recently. The rise and spread of the Internet delivered cheap publishing tools that could challenge newspapers (Farhi 14). Newspapers lost their scarcity advantage and their monopoly on local news. How could they compete against the citizen journalists that are able to provide local coverage of their hometown when it cost them close to nothing to publish their blog for everyone to see? How could they compete when bloggers did not have to worry about circulation and distribution? They could not and cannot compete against them while they are ...

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...t to a story. The future of journalism and newspapers might lie less in hard hitting investigative journalism, and more in being a trusted filter for the rumors of the Internet.

The huge profits that newspapers used to enjoy are at an end. They no longer have a monopoly over local news and classified ads. Now they have to compete with low cost blogs and inexpensive advertising sites, such as Craigslist. Newspapers also have to figure out a new business model for this digital world. If they cannot keep pace with technology, they are destined to become obsolete and collapse.

Works Cited
Farhi, Paul. "Don't Blame the Journalism." American Journalism Review 30.5 (2008): 14-5. Print.

Lasica, J. D. Net Gain. (Future of News Media on the Internet)(Cover Story). 18 Vol. , 1996. Print.

Palser, Barb. "Free at Last." American Journalism Review 30.1 (2008): 48. Print.
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