Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another link

Yes, I do know it has been weeks -- months -- since I last posted. This is based on about 500 different factors ... but I do intend (hope?) to get this blog going again with some ideas and thoughts and conversation.

in the meantime, reader Paul passed along this excellent column by Megan McArdle which I think really hits the point. The reason newspapers are struggling and dying in her view (and mine) has little to do with all the bloggers that grizzled journalist so enjoy complaining about. Newspapers are struggling and dying because the BUSINESS MODEL is gone. Advertising is fragmented. Classifieds are gone. Real estate is in the tank. Businesses have figured out how to go customer direct.

Newspapers have been driven by advertising for ... well, forever. Newspapers have never been able to survive on subscriptions ... and I'm not sure why anyone thinks that they can now. Charging for content sounds fine, and it probably should be done. But does that save the model? I don't think so. What newspapers need are new ideas.

Anyway, read the column she says it better than I do.


  1. Joe, I'm glad you're getting back to this site. Congrats!
    As a non-newspaper person, I was in agreeement with Megan's story until the very end, when she made the corruption argument. It seemed out of place with the business model story in the rest of the article. Also, there were no new ideas presented by her or quoted by her.
    In my humble opinion, there are many generalizations about MSM and bloggers that are not correct in all cases. One of them is corruption will increase if there are no newspapers.

  2. One thing I'm trying to understand about this line of argument:

    > And no one has figured out how to pay for hard news.

    Typically, when no one can figure out how to make money from something, it's because people don't want that something. Is it possible that people don't want hard news?

    Even if (as she threatens) we *have* to have hard news to prevent corruption, if people don't want to pay for it, then what? Is the only answer to let corruption happen to drive the demand to pay for news?

    I tend to be suspicious of analysis that identifies a problem with no solution ...

  3. Thanks, Joe, for coming back to this blog.

    And, Bryan, maybe that'll be the case. Maybe corruption will have to increase (I guess that's possible, though I don't want to imagine it)before enough people will be willing to pay for hard news. That's pretty depressing but may be true.

  4. Is this blog now going to be re-named The Future of Sports Magazines?

    Just checked this site for the first time in a couple months. Glad it's still alive.

  5. While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

  6. Generous, I Can’t seem to be able to see anything similar on Yahoo – Guess I will have to keep it bookmarked!

  7. wow that's great...
    i daily study the columns of news paper...
    thanks for shat=ring this

  8. Wow its a really nice article you posted here i like it and share it with my friends. lovely one

  9. nice one article here you have shared with us