Monday, June 08, 2009

An optimistic view of newspapers' future

Leaving aside the personal vested interest, I'd argue the future of newspapers, journalism and community are all closely linked.
The industry is struggling to come up with a working business model, as they say. If it can't, who will pay for people to spend their days gathering news and information? There's a ready market for specialized information - companies and individuals will pay significant money for corporate news or updates on legal judgments.
But it's much less clear who will pay for reporters to sit in Victoria courts or cover health authority issues or even report on provincial politics. (The point, for now, is not how well the existing commercial media are doing the job. It's whether anyone will do it.)
And without that reporting to provide a common starting point for communities, what will happen to then. Back in my early days in newspapers, the small daily I worked for was read by more than 70 per cent of adults each day. If we did a decent job on an issue, people had a shared base of information and were motivated to talk about it at work or over the back fence.
Today, about 40 per cent of residents read that paper each day. So where is the common concerns and starting point for considering issues?
Which leads, in a rambling way, to an interesting piece in The Tyee on Glacier Media, a newspaper operator with significant B.C. holdings that sees a future.


DPL said...

We have a seven days subscription to the Times Colonist for around eight years. Delivery kept getting more erratic this last year. Now they tell us, there is no news on Mondays so they won't print on that day. I asked their office" Does that mean we will pay less for the six days"? Not likely, the service days go down but the price doesn't. Sort of a nasty way to get the revenue without paying the staff. I would hazard a guess that subscribers will fade away. But what will I use to put in the bottom of our cat litter box? and it's tough reading the computer while in the bathtub. The Globe and Mail averages out to about the same amount as the T/C so maybe we will shift over there just like another family member has done. They dropped the T/C a long time ago,

Declan said...

The more interesting question to me is what's better, no print media at all or a print media that spends most of its time bleating right wing good, left wing bad?

It seems those are our options.

Momoc HDR Photography said...

For me the more important things are the story inside the media. The truth or stories that are being setup for certain purpose. If they write the truth story....newspaper will survive.