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Is this the demise of newspapers??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press are the first major dailies in the US to go to a combined in-emailbox delivery and limited home delivery system. The actual printed paper will only be delivered on Thurs, Fri and Sun.

The news conference announcing these changes is still going on. I am not sure what I think if this, frankly. I understand, but I am said. Say what you want about the media, it does play an influential role in our society.

In this case, the papers helped oust a very corrupt mayor from office.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage
http://www.freep.com/
post #2 of 11
I assume you mean "Is this the demise of printed newspapers?

The newpapers in question will still exist, they are just changing how consumers access them.

I for one long ago got tired of daily, printed newspapers. I hated having my hands covered in news ink and having to dispose of a large amount of paper when I was finished with them.

The New York Times has a really nice electronic newpaper reader that I have used for the past year. The NYT is also available for my Amazon Kindle. I haven't tried that version yet but the advantage of that mode of access is that a computer isn't needed. My local paper, the Houston Chronicle, is also available on the Kindle but I haven't tried that one either. I've only had the Kindle a week and am still in play mode with it.

Times is a changin'.
post #3 of 11
I think newspapers are already dead if not on the morphine drip. The size of our local paper has been shrinking for years. It's hardly like a decent newspaper anymore. If the paper size gets much smaller, you'd have to call it a magazine. And the type is so small I can hardly read it with my reading glasses. Not to mention its lack of content. I dropped my subscription to this newspaper years ago. I got tired of the constant stream of spelling and grammar errors made by writers and editors who should know better.
post #4 of 11
I think more and more newspapers are going to concentrate on their online versions. One national German newspaper now offers a "compact" printed daily newspaper and a huge Sunday edition; the "full-size" daily newspaper is available online. I see fewer and fewer newspapers on the train during my daily commute. A lot of people, like myself, seem to read PDA versions.
post #5 of 11
This from the article:

Quote:
The announcement acknowledges dual realities: The industry is suffering one of its worst years in history, but more consumers than ever are reading its content. Circulation at both papers has declined along with the industry, but detnews.com averages 30 million page views a month.
Seems to indicate that, at least for these papers, people are still reading the newspapers, just not the paper versions.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I assume you mean "Is this the demise of printed newspapers?

The newpapers in question will still exist, they are just changing how consumers access them.

I for one long ago got tired of daily, printed newspapers. I hated having my hands covered in news ink and having to dispose of a large amount of paper when I was finished with them.

The New York Times has a really nice electronic newpaper reader that I have used for the past year. The NYT is also available for my Amazon Kindle. I haven't tried that version yet but the advantage of that mode of access is that a computer isn't needed. My local paper, the Houston Chronicle, is also available on the Kindle but I haven't tried that one either. I've only had the Kindle a week and am still in play mode with it.

Times is a changin'.
Yes, I meant printed newspapers.. the daily rag sheet! In a way I don't blame them... this is how most people want their info delivered... and news hole doesn't have to be dictated by ad space. (traditional way of laying out a newspaper and determining page count, etc.)

I rarely look at the printed versions, tho' sometimes the printed versions had stories that were not online... and vice versa. Now I can just have it delivered to email inbox. But as a former journalist, it does kinda make me sad... I also worry that the quality of the content will suffer (further).
post #7 of 11
Quote:
I rarely look at the printed versions, tho' sometimes the printed versions had stories that were not online...
Well, that won't be the case if the printed version ceases to exist, right? In the mean time if the printed version has stories the electronic version doesn't have, can't you just buy the printed version?

Quote:
I also worry that the quality of the content will suffer (further).
Why would the quality of content be affected by a shift away from paper?? If anything I would think it would increase the quality. Less money would be needed for overhead expenses so more could be used to attract quality journalists. Isn't the general decline in news quality we see today mostly a result of media companies chasing advertising dollars rather than journalism awards?

I guess I don't see any cause for concern. With you being a former journalist I'd be interested in knowing more about how you view this.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Well, that won't be the case if the printed version ceases to exist, right? In the mean time if the printed version has stories the electronic version doesn't have, can't you just buy the printed version?



Why would the quality of content be affected by a shift away from paper?? If anything I would think it would increase the quality. Less money would be needed for overhead expenses so more could be used to attract quality journalists. Isn't the general decline in news quality we see today mostly a result of media companies chasing advertising dollars rather than journalism awards?

I guess I don't see any cause for concern. With you being a former journalist I'd be interested in knowing more about how you view this.
In general, I have seen a decline in the papers here - in terms of quality of reporting, writing and editing... lots of mistakes, shallow content.. to me it's the influence of TV on print... and I worked in both media. Can't stand local TV news anymore - one reason I got out was the vapidity of it all. It's an assault on the ears and intelligence; my editor's eye picks up all the mistakes and poor English. Sigh... wish I could just switch it off. And even getting ink on everything, I am old school about wanting to have a paper to read. Something tangible, tho' I use the Internet a lot for reading and research. As I was always taught, consider the source. I sometimes still call my writing samples "clips."

Also, going all electronic, in my experience, has been a way for organizations to cut costs. Not inherently a bad thing, but cutting corners also goes to my initial concern about the decline in the quality of the daily papers. Doing things more cheaply, for instance. Hiring less experienced reporters, editors. Focusing on speed, not quality.

I'm a freelancer. Clients often want to do things electronically. That is expeditious, but what they don't realize, for instance, is they are not saving all that much. For a newsletter to look like a newsletter, it still has to be researched, written, vetted, designed, etc. What's changed is the method of distribution and you do eliminate some of the turnaround time.

ETA: By the way, there will be layoffs as a result of this, not more hires. That's what I have heard.
post #9 of 11
As for your original point, I suspect printed news should be put on the endangered list. I'm afraid you are in the minority in preferring printed news over electronic versions! I guess we'll have to stop calling them newspapers. Newsjournals perhaps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
In general, I have seen a decline in the papers here - in terms of quality of reporting, writing and editing... lots of mistakes, shallow content.. to me it's the influence of TV on print... and I worked in both media. Can't stand local TV news anymore - one reason I got out was the vapidity of it all. It's an assault on the ears and intelligence; my editor's eye picks up all the mistakes and poor English. Sigh... wish I could just switch it off.
Yeah, I stopped watching the news on tv years ago. Too much "human interest" and not enough hard news.

Quote:
Also, going all electronic, in my experience, has been a way for organizations to cut costs. Not inherently a bad thing, but cutting corners also goes to my initial concern about the decline in the quality of the daily papers. Doing things more cheaply, for instance. Hiring less experienced reporters, editors. Focusing on speed, not quality.

I'm a freelancer. Clients often want to do things electronically. That is expeditious, but what they don't realize, for instance, is they are not saving all that much. For a newsletter to look like a newsletter, it still has to be researched, written, vetted, designed, etc. What's changed is the method of distribution and you do eliminate some of the turnaround time.
I think the "dumbing down" of the news is going to continue regardless of whether or not printed news ceases to exist. Hopefully there will always be a few sources of good reporting and they will be easy to access because of being available in electronic form.

Quote:
ETA: By the way, there will be layoffs as a result of this, not more hires. That's what I have heard.
No doubt. They won't need as large a staff for and in support of the printing presses.
post #10 of 11
I don't like the way you get ink all over your fingers while reading a printed newspaper.
post #11 of 11
At least they are thinking outside the box on ways to keep the newspaper going even if it means not actually printing a paper 4 days a week. That's a whole lot better than the Denver - there's two main papers here, The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. A few years ago they combined for the Sunday edition. OK, that's fine. Now Scripps Howard has put the News up for sale but is basically saying that it's going out of business by the end of the first quarter. Personally, I like(d) having 2 major papers in a major area like this - keeps both of them honest in their reporting and keeps the reporters on their toes to get the best stories. Only one? I see a lot of complacency in reporting coming, and I see the bias getting even stronger so there isn't much difference between the "news" pages and the "opinions" pages.
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