Media Observations – The Dying Newspaper

Print media in general is in trouble. Books and magazines still hold some kind of value for society, but the one print medium being hit the hardest is the newspaper.
The limitations that cause newspapers to fail as a media outlet are numerous. Here are a few.
Newspapers are limited by physical laws. Whereas other media sources are digital and can be downloaded in seconds, newspapers are a print media, and are therefore limited in time, resources, and cost. While they can be delivered daily, the Internet can do the same thing for (almost) free in seconds.
Newspapers are limited by their content. Reporters have to search ravenously for relevant stories to write about. They have to write immediately, that same day often times, so that the news can stay relatively fresh.
Newspapers are limited by production costs. Once again, a physical media requires physical production. This costs time and money. As efficient as newspapers can ever get, they will simply never compare with the ease of production that the Internet offers. Paper, ink, working with the chemicals to get the right colors, the plates and stripping process, the technical difficulties that can ensue at any point in the operation, the employees necessary to run every phase of the printing process, the wasted prints necessary for calibration; the newspaper is an old dinosaur, wallowing the the tar pits.
Newspapers are limited by their advertising. As the value and viewership of newspapers as a mass medium drops, so does the payment they receive for the ads they run, and most of the profits a newspaper makes are off of its ads. Newspapers have two main sources of profit, namely their consumers/subscribers and their advertisements. People are simply not willing to pay an excessive amount for a newspaper any more (given the free options available), and so with roughly 80% of their profits coming from ads, and the value of those ads dropping like a stone, newspapers no longer have a viable option to remain financially afloat.
Newspapers will continue to be limited in these ways until they unanimously choose to adapt. If the newspapers at any given level of news (international, national, state or province-wide, or local) can bring themselves to move to an online format, finding ways to incorporate their ads as a requirement to get to the news itself, and leaving behind the roaring, rumbling mechanical dinosaur in the warehouse, they could save themselves as news sources to the world. The problem with this is that if one newspaper does it before the others, that paper will fail, as consumers will look to the sources still bereft of online ads before going to the one that requires them to be seen first.
Can the newspaper be saved? Only those who run them can decide that, whether they will unite and save themselves and each other, or continue to compete and gradually become extinct.
Does anyone read the newspaper anymore? Do you?

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