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Re: Bye-Bye Newspapers?

So where are the bloggers moaning the loss of medieval monks who put together those marvelous illuminated manuscripts? They died off sometime around the introduction of Gutenberg's moveable type, which made cheap printing of mass copies very cheap. I bet there was a lot of grumbling, moaning and praying in the monasteries about outsourcing of jobs to Germany. Comes now the Internet, which provides an even cheaper way of distributing information than moveable type and presses, and we should be surprised or concerned that newspapers are in deep trouble?
I could also make an argument that newspapers today are greedy monopolies that got very fat on post-World War II advertising trends that sought mass audiences. We should be celebrating the demise of these monopolies, which dictated what their readers read, and served as censors of information. May I remind you there have been troubling cases where reporters or editors bribed news sources to keep certain derogatory information out of the papers. But there is no censorship with the Internet (yet in the U.S., although I expect that will change), and we should celebrate a change that allows Amish Cook to have this blog, and spread his views wider than any newspaper audience can provide.
This is not the first challenge newspapers faced, but it probably fatal for the monopolies. The first challenge came from color TV, which provided mass audiences up-to-date news that afternoon newspapers could not provide. There are very few afternoon newspapers left today.
I do see a role for newspapers in the future as the Internet becomes more widely used, but radically diminished and changed. Newspapers will no longer monopolize the news or ads in a community, and they need to reconcile themselves to these changing conditions. They no longer have a majority of readers in the Gen. X and Gen. Y age groups, and are fast losing upper and middle class males as well. I doubt they can get them back, but they can by being more honest news sources, and less preachers of a new morality. They certainly will be very local, and they will certainly have challenges from the Internet that will keep them on their toes.


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