The (read) sky (between) is (the) falling (lines)

AdAge.com opens an article with these dismal facts:

Newspaper ad revenue fell almost $2 billion in the third quarter for a record 18.1% decline, according to new statistics from the Newspaper Association of America. What’s worse, newspapers’ online ad revenue fell for the second quarter in a row.

Link

In another, companion article titled “Huffington Post More Valuable Than Some Newspaper Cos.,” AdAge.com offers this regarding blog value versus newspaper value:

The [$100 million] funding means Arianna Huffington’s news blog is now considered more valuable by its backers than quite a few publicly traded newspaper companies…

Link

The irony is that The Huffington Post “rarely provide original content” (to quote myself) but “select and repackage… information.”

In a CJR piece by Robert Kuttner with an urgent deck that reads “Newspapers have a bright future as print-digital hybrids after all — but they’d better hurry,” he writes of an interview with a 21-year old colleague. In their conversation he attempts to establish an argument in defense of the printed newspaper. Mr. Kuttner writes:

By now I was feeling very last century. And then Ezra… handed me a trump. You have one thing right, he volunteered. The best material on the Internet consistently comes from Web sites run by print organizations.

Link

My take away is this:

  1. Newspapers that don’t adapt to the print-digital hybrid should go the way of the buffalo.
  2. Newspapers that embrace the print-digital hybrid should do so quickly and reorganize as a news organization using the full depth of the new media platform. After all, newspapers are content providers who have been relying on a single (print) platform too long.
  3. The Huffington Post is funded. In a little known interview, the publisher of World magazine made the following statement:

As public companies that do most of the news-gathering cut back on their investments… We see an opportunity to increase news resources in the non-profit world. We may be looking at a paradigm shift in this industry from for-profit news-gathering to non-profit news-gathering.

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