Newspapers must change

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

6 April 2009

Newspapers have hard choices to make

A penny for…thoughts?  Well, Rupert Murdoch believes it is worth a lot more than that. Newspapers must change, now.

“People reading news for free on the Web, that’s got to change,” said Murdoch, speaking at The Cable Show, an annual cable television industry event, in Washington, D.C.

NewspapersI think Murdoch has a point. After all, he now represents the Wall Street Journal, which does charge for online content.  The problem with that thinking is that the model has changed.  Do local newspapers actually believe they can finance a staff and support their current infrastructure by reporting only local news and supported by web subscriptions?

The larger point is that, sadly, local newspapers have lost their relevance. The loss of advertising that supports them is just proof. The current state of the economy has affected that, for sure, but the writing was on the wall long before that. Murdoch need not worry, the Wall Street Journal is a different model and is read everywhere. I might pay to buy Reuters national and international news but I really don’t think local papers can manage.

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