jamie goode's wine blog: The future of newspapers

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The future of newspapers

Thanks to Tim Atkin and his tweeting for alerting me to a a brilliant column in The Guardian by Simon Jenkins. It's about the future of newspapers.

He rightly points out that they are in peril, and suggests that 'paywalls' (charging for content) may not be the answer.
At present the newspaper industry is like the British army retreating on Dunkirk. As before Wapping, it asks only how many boats might there be for survivors, two titles or perhaps three?

Instead, he proposes a different future, and I really like the direction he is proposing.
They [newspapers] have let the torch of cultural championship pass to a new generation of promoters and impresarios. Local newspapers are quietly dying when they should be staging everything from commercial fairs to sporting events and arts and book festivals. There is money in all of them. Newspapers should not be investing in fancy printing presses but in the "long-tail" economics of live enterprise, with the printed word as a mere core activity.

Could it be that what Jenkins is proposing for newspapers also applies to other content-based media? It's a really interesting discussion.



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