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Are Newspapers a Thing of the Past?

My Sunday morning ritual for at least 40 years has been to read the Boston Globe and NY Times for a couple of hours.  Last Sunday, while reading those papers, I was listening to a CBS story on TV about the looming demise of the newspaper industry.

What is the future of newspapers? A good friend of ours with 25 years as a reporter and editor at a Boston area  newspaper was laid off Friday.  Mark Lange, a friend and freelance journalist, sent me the attached tongue in cheek story yesterday about Twitter as the future of news.  With the breathtaking speed that news content is racing to the web, is this story really so far fetched?

While I get a lot of information online, I would miss that tactile experience of flipping through the paper and finding stories I might not otherwise find online because I wouldn’t be looking for them.  That being said, I got a Kindle for Christmas and I love it.  I can order books and newspapers and have them in less than a minute.  It’s lightweight and a no brainer to carry with me when there’s a possibility that I may have time to read while travelling or waiting.

Should we feel guilty about the traditional newspaper and publishing jobs being lost to digital alternatives, or see this as an opportunity for new contributors to the public conversation?

Where are you getting your news these days?

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  1. Bill MacKay #

    It feels to me that the newspapers missed their opportunity to develop a pay model on the internet that would have helped to sustain them. While the web offer instant flash updates the paper responded by putting their content for free. What the papers should have done was recognize that their strength is providing in depth stories and charging for that. Beating the blogs to the story isn’t their strength.

    April 2, 2009

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