November 10th, 2008

The market and the internet don’t care if you make money

by

The title of this post comes straight from the mind-blowing mind of Seth Godin, preaching to the book industry (promoting his book Tribes), but he could just as easily be preaching to anyone in media:

[T]he market and the internet don’t care if you make money. That’s important to say. You have no right to make money from every development in media, and the humility that comes from approaching the market that way matters. It’s not “how can the market make me money” it’s “how can I do things for this market.”

and

The market doesn’t care a whit about maintaining your industry. The lesson from Napster and iTunes is that there’s even MORE music than there was before. What got hurt was Tower and the guys in the suits and the unlimited budgets for groupies and drugs. The music will keep coming. Same thing is true with books.

When I read this, I thought immediately of many assumptions the newspaper industry is making as the decline of its business model accelerates:

  • There has to be a new business model to support journalism with the same profit margins as newspapers have enjoyed in recent decades.
  • There has to be a way for newspapers to “reverse” the declines.
  • Newspapers will eventually find a way to make their web operations as large and profitable as their print operations once were.
  • Newspapers can’t be permitted to die, because then journalism will die.

But the reality is that all of these assumptions may be wrong.

Why? Because the web and the market don’t care. The web is the most disruptive force in the history of media, by many orders of magnitude, destroying every assumption on which traditional media businesses are based.

But the market should care, you say. What would happen if we didn’t have the newspapers playing their Fourth Estate watch dog role?

Here’s the bitter truth — the feared loss of civic value is not the basis for a BUSINESS.

The problem with the newspaper industry, as with the music industry before it, is the sense of ENTITLEMENT. What we do is valuable. Therefore we have the right to make money.

Nobody has the right to a business model.

Ask not what the market can do for you, but what you can do for the market.

Every conversation about reinventing a business model for newspapers begins, it seems, with a question about how to find a way to pay for what we value in the current product. In other words, how do we find a way to keep doing what we’ve always done and make as much money as we’ve always made?

I’ve rarely heard anyone start by asking what the market values. Where are the pain points in the market? How can we solve problems for people?

You know, business 101.

At Jeff Jarvis’ conference last month on new business models for news, I heard more out-of-the-box thinking in one day than I’ve had in the probably past year. But everyone had to constantly shoo the sacred cows out of the room.

I’ve been accused in recent months of Google worship, because I keep coming back again, and again, and AGAIN to Google’s business model.

Why? Because it’s the most successful media business on the web, by many orders of magnitude.

Why? Because Google solves a big problem for consumers. It helps them find stuff on the web they could never find on their own. And it solves a big problem for advertisers. It lets them buy traffic.

So what’s a problem in the market that newspaper companies could solve? When I know what I’m looking for, Google helps me find it. But when it comes to news, I don’t always know what I’m looking for, because, well, it’s NEW. And I want the best of what’s on the WHOLE web, not just what one news brand has to offer.

That problem is still largely unsolved.

And it’s just one example (and you can disagree about whether its a problem).

But Google as an icon is a double-edged sword. Google gave birth to the most destructive, soul-sucking, innovation-destroying notion in media today: monetization.

Nobody thought search was a business, until Google found a way to “monetize” it. Now everyone with something big, e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc., assumes there must be a way to monetize it, like Google did.

Newspapers and other traditional media put their content online and try to “monetize” it. We have it, therefore it must be worth something.

We’ve got lots of page views, therefore they must be worth something. We’ve got lots of ad impressions, therefore they must be worth something.

But here’s the problem — so does everyone else.

Everyone is chasing more TRAFFIC.

You know, just like everyone wanted “eyeballs” in the 90s.

We’ve got some traffic, let’s monetize it.

But, frankly, the market doesn’t give a shit about your traffic.

So what does the market care about?

Networks.

The web media market is a giant network. Google figured out how to harness the network. But nobody else has yet.

That’s not surprising. Media companies can only think about their own properties, their own content. They can’t let go of the monopoly control business which the web has already destroyed.

Since you made it this far in this post, I’ll tell you a secret, since this post was not meant to be defeatist, but rather a swift kick in the head.

So here’s the secret. Legacy media companies can’t create a new business model for news and journalism by themselves.

They have to work TOGETHER, to build a network — a giant network of much smaller pieces, loosely joined.

I’ve said this before. And I’ll surely say it again.

But most of the media company executives who read this blog will shrug and go back to trying to figure how to prop up their monopolies.

And those monopolies will continue to crumble faster every day.

I’ll write more about networks and media company collaboration in another post. In the meantime, I’m going to watch the the web’s disruption continue to blow up everyone’s assumptions (including whatever assumptions I still have left).

Newspaper CEOs are meeting for a closed-door summit this week. Maybe someone will forward them this post. Or print it out and set it on fire in the middle of the conference table. Whatever works.

And as for Journalism, I’m less worried.

I’ll repeat Seth: The lesson from Napster and iTunes is that there’s even MORE music than there was before.

We’ve got highly entrepreneurial, creative, and driven people like David Cohn — who’s launching spot.us this week — working hard outside of newspaper company walls to invent new models for journalism

Journalism will find a way. Even if the industries that once supported it do not.

It took the ruination of the Bush Administration to create the right conditions for electing Barack Obama. Sometimes it has to all be torn down before you can begin to build it back up again.

Comments (50 Responses so far)

  1. “Here’s the bitter truth — the feared loss of civic value is not the basis for a BUSINESS.

    The problem with the newspaper industry, as with the music industry before it, is the sense of ENTITLEMENT. What we do is valuable. Therefore we have the right to make money.”

    BINGO – my background is in marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship. I currently work at a startup shop that totals four employees.

    I see opportunities for journalism everywhere, but they’re all based on completely different business models than the traditional newspaper assumption, which is that the only other option consumers have for news is “the other local paper.” Trapped market, right?

    That was wrong five years ago. Now it’s just laughably ignorant.

    Most papers have held a monopoly for too long – and they’re either going to grow some teeth and compete again, or their going to get crushed by news operations that are *doing a better job,* which makes it harder to shed tears for the Darwinian losers…

  2. You just turned my mediocre day into pure excitement!
    It is new insight into old problems that makes life exciting and forces society to progress.
    I especially liked your “Journalism will find a way. Even if the industries that once supported it do not.”
    Thank you for stimulating my mind on a grey and rainy morning.

  3. [...] humility that comes from approaching the market that way matters. … Here is the original: The market and the internet don’t care if you make money Post a [...]

  4. Terrific post! I don’t think they’re listening to you but maybe someone is.

  5. I have been subscribing to your site for a while now but this is one of my first comments.

    I like the idea of this topic but I have to disagree about the idea that Google is the only winner (which is the vibe I am getting from the post).

    Yes, Google is successful but the G company is now part of the mammoth of media itself, as opposed to just being an outsider. This means it is open to competition (even it cuil cannot knock it off its pedestal yet).

    I don’t think profit lies solely in the concept of search in itself. Newspapers are more f’d if they cannot figure out a way to create/find new readers to their sites. Whereas, magazines look like they can be auctioned off at this rate.

    Either way, both formats need to look beyond the boxers of the net like Google and stay in the ring by fighting back. And the only way to fight back (in my opinion) is not by copying or trying to outdo each other, but by exploring other options. With this rubbish international economy, perhaps big news organisations should look overseas.

  6. [...] on Publishing 2.0 (here): “Every conversation about reinventing a business model for newspapers begins, it seems, [...]

  7. Seth is spot on, but much of the commentary is way off.

    A Book is one static form of content, nothing more. This static piece of content is used to meet some of the needs of the authors readers/fans. A book is almost never the end all and be all for the reader. The book is one way for the author to develop a relationship with his/her audience.

    What’s interesting to note is that most publishers are having a hard time making money. Why? Because their model is broken.

    If Publishers and authors intend to make money in the future the entire industry should be flipped on its head.

    Publishing in the future, to be successful, should take on a venture capital role.

    Publishers should stop investing in 1 piece of content (where they have small profit margins and very small margins) and start investing in the “Though Leader” themselves.

    Authors typically don’t make money from the sale of a book, they make money from what the book does for them and their business personally.

    Publishers should be helping “Thought leaders” develop content, build their Though Leadership business and making revenue not just from the sale of the book, but from the other back end products and services they help to generate.

    This would require a bigger investment by both Authors and Publishers but, would have a far better net for all parties involved.

    I agree with your post, and the a couple comments above, Publishers and authors should explore how to use social media to join the conversation and expand their marketing and platforms

    Michael R. Drew
    Promote A Book Inc.
    512-586-6073

  8. The newspaper industry are no less than the Luddites of the 21st century. The basic truth is that you can’t fight innovation – it is always a lost battle.

  9. My comments here: http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2008/11/scott-karp-on-n.html

  10. “But most of the media company executives who read this blog will shrug and go back to trying to figure how to prop up their monopolies.

    If their paycheck and bonuses reflected the accelerated loss of the business model, they would surely reconsider new means to revive the news media.

    It’s got to hurt in the wallet, not just professional pride. When the model fails, they can take refuge as a victim of new media aggression. This puffs up their pride as a stoic who rode the venerable ship down.

    If personal compensation were based on successful implementation of new media, some of the sacred cows might get hungry enough to cross over to fresh pastures.

  11. Scott, you say “Here’s the bitter truth — the feared loss of civic value is not the basis for a BUSINESS.”

    Here’s what I fail to understand: Why doesn’t it?

    I ask this question seriously. You’ll never find a journalist worth his or her salt who will tell you with a straight face that they got into journalism for the money. They got into it because they felt a calling that is every bit as strong and relevant as the one that some feel toward becoming a part of the clergy or even to run for national office.

    I say this as someone who felt it a long time ago. I was once a stringer for the Chicago Tribune and felt a passionate desire to go into the news business as part of my sense of civic pride. I covered the dumpy side of the business — zoning commission and school board meetings — but I genuinely felt like I was part of the civic infrastructure. I felt like I was a part of ‘the process’ and that if one person would benefit from me staying awake at a boring meeting long enough to write a brief report on the new zoning law or school board debate, then it was justified.

    I’m no longer in the news business, but I have friends who still are. They feel just as passionate as I once did, once you scrape away the barnacles of cynicism that have encrusted their perspective.

    So I ask again … if so many go into the news business with a sense of civic pride or civic duty, why isn’t it a business worthy enough to save as part of our civic infrastructure?

    Cheers,
    Michael

    —-
    312-932-9000 / michael@blogcouncil.org / twitter: merubin
    I am a Blog Council employee and this is my personal opinion.

  12. Oh boy. Our local paper, the Oregonian, has a website. It could be such a help to local people looking for
    work
    articles from yesterday or yesteryear
    but it’s this corporate template that’s used on all off the affiliate sites
    and since they’re the only game in town
    they have no need to create something better
    except that it sucks so bad
    so bad
    that it gives the paper itself, which isn’t so bad
    a bad rap and makes me
    and others
    not want to shell out the money for a paper, let alone a subscription
    I was cheered by the Koreans who got communal publishing going and look forward to that model taking hold here
    and never having to wallow through a conservative editorial’s bias on who should be the next president
    I appreciate your post. Thank you!
    Albert Kaufman, http://albertideation.com

  13. The mainstream media is so arrogant in the contempt for online new sites and bloggers. Until they can shift their attitude, I have little hope for MSM’s resurgence.

  14. Let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment.

    Imagine you are employed in a business that has been considered a vital part of the public interest for decades. In fact, it helped bring down a President in the early 1970’s and arguably saved the country.

    You went to university for training in this profession. You learned how to subvert your opinion in favor of a non-confrontational, “just the facts, ma’am” style. It’s stifling, but you know that it serves the public good. You realize you’re luckier than a good portion of the world, most of which doesn’t allow the freedom of expression you’re entitled to in this country. You went into the business even though it’s highly competitive, has looooong hours, features PR people who would rather give you spin than be forthright with the truth, and doesn’t even pay all that well.

    And then all of a sudden, a whole horde of people come along. Instead of engaging in dialogue, they proceed to rip into your profession as if it were tinfoil. When you try to engage them in dialogue, you are dismissed as being arrogant. When you stand up for principles like integrity, source-checking, and fact-checking, you are told, “Hey pal, get on the cluetrain, it’s all part of the conversation.” Your wake up one morning to find your beloved industry — which employs a lot more people than just front-line reporters — is under an attack which it never sought in the first place. When you stand up for it, you are shouted down and dismissed as old-fashioned and … wait for it! … clueless.

    Be honest. In your heart of hearts, how would YOU react?

    —-
    312-932-9000 / michael@blogcouncil.org / twitter: merubin
    I am a Blog Council employee and this is my personal opinion.

  15. [...] Here is the original post: Comment on The market and the internet don’t care if you make … [...]

  16. Brilliant post and excellent comments, specifically the ones from Michael Rubin. I would love to see some answers to his questions.

    I work for a large consumer-magazines publisher and I can tell you that it is on our top managements mind all the time how the growth of digital media will influence our business. The thing is, and this should not be underestimated, the people who pull the strings at classical media companies have grown their business to success by exactly doing what they’re good at: managing classical media. So don’t ridicule them as they really earn some respect as they run businesses that still outperform most webcompanies (except Google) by a manifold in terms of revenues and especially profits.
    So instead of telling them time on time again that they “just don’t get it”, start giving advice that really helps them to transform into digital media companies.
    Looking forward to your next post!

  17. “So here’s the secret. Legacy media companies can’t create a new business model for news and journalism by themselves.

    They have to work TOGETHER, to build a network — a giant network of much smaller pieces, loosely joined.

    I’ve said this before. And I’ll surely say it again.

    But most of the media company executives who read this blog will shrug and go back to trying to figure how to prop up their monopolies.

    And those monopolies will continue to crumble faster every day.”

    Well said.

    Why we need a Global Journalism Union, or just an American Media Union.

  18. I live and work in both the print and digital worlds. As a magazine publisher, I realized a long time ago that it wasn’t about NEWS on PAPER.

    I realized it was about community, trust and yes, creating a truly memorable keepsake for my readership. Our media kit even says that we intend to publish a magazine so good we want you to put it in your will.

    I also spend a ridiculous amount of time online…everything from blogs to forums.

    Yesterday I intervened in a pretty delicate situation. A blog had taken a photo of someone I know and posted it. This photo was taken by a professional photographer and the website was not authorized to post it.

    In the comments section there were all kinds of innuendo bantered around. Long story short, had this happened in print, there would have been a lawsuit. And it would have gotten very ugly indeed. The site took down the photo and the comments.

    I am acutely aware of the free-for-all that is the web. This wild west mentality is both good and bad. There is more news being created and more news being read – that’s the good side. Then there is question of quality of what’s out there.

    What it boils down to is trust. That’s the one thing that newspapers should protect and cultivate.

    On a final note, I think that the post on how journalists feel attacked raises some excellent points…sadly, the same could be said for a number of different industries all of which have been decimated by digital technology.

  19. [...] 11, 2008 · No Comments My job here might be obsolete. Well, newspapers will be. Enjoy some MSMW while you read these few [...]

  20. “But, frankly, the market doesn’t give a shit about your traffic. So what does the market care about? Networks.”

    Sorry, but this is absurd. The [advertising] market cares about selling their products. “Networks” are just another obfuscation. If you can sell the advertiser’s product, they will pay you. If not, try another business model — one where the audience pays the writers directly.

    Btw, why do you not have a link here on the site to “send you a tip”, or “buy you a cup of coffee”? I would pay to initiate a dialogue, because I want to talk to you.

    Publishing 2.0 is all about dialogue between the publisher and the reader. I think payment should be part of that.

  21. [...] The market and the internet don’t care if you make money. A much-pointed-to piece by Scott Karp that needs to be widely read. His conclusion is, “Journalism will find a way. Even if the industries that once supported it do not”, but there’s a lot of potential pain for media execs that goes before that. Somewhat related: A list of the built-in psychological obstacles newsrooms have toward publishing information online. [...]

  22. Maybe the revolutionizing impacts of the Internet are an outgrowth of what Stewart Brand and friends, in the 70s and 80s, called disintermediation, the dynamic of middle men losing their foothold in the market (e.g. high-fee stock brokers losing to the rush of discount brokers).

    A network, by nature, erodes the bottlenecks, and hands out power to all comers.

    Futurist Harlan Cleveland talked about “everyone wants to get into the kitchen” (my paraphrase) when he predited the messy trends toward decentralization. A few decades ago, the Western world looked on alarmed at the First World movement that threatened to pull down old guard institutions.

    All the new cooks sometimes feel like the mongrel hordes breaking down the gates of civilization.

    Amidst the uproar and mayhem, we stand amazed that Google built the first successful gate to not only withstand the new legions, but one they all bow down to!

    We should keep the faith, though. Civics and civic-mindedness are still greatly alive, as is the need for quality information and synthesizing visions. Things are disorderly, as old institutions crumble and people bleed. But we yearn for order, almost everyone still loves life, and the search for order is passionately ongoing, particularly at the local level, where the change and the stakes are most visceral.

  23. [...] The market and the internet don’t care if you make money Scott Karp – deep thinking about money. (tags: web2.0 sethgodin newspapers business) [...]

  24. [...] need some realism in this business. If Rosenbaum really wants to dislike someone, he might turn his spitballs toward my friends Scott Karp and Seth Godin, who declare that “the market and the internet don’t [...]

  25. [...] doesn’t mean the market does. It is this point that has been put across very eloquently by Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0: The web is the most disruptive force in the history of media, by many orders of magnitude, [...]

  26. [...] a lot of talk about new business models, about the market not caring if we make money, about there being no right to a job in a newsroom. There’s a lot of talk about regional [...]

  27. [...] a Molotov cocktail hurled into a crowd, Publishing 2.0 blogger Scott Karp has ignited the already heated debate about the future of journalism and publishing with his most recent post, entitled “The market [...]

  28. [...] , The inevitable , Work Tags: Google, local journalism, journalism as a business, markets A full banquet’s worth of thought from Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0: “The web is the most disruptive force in the history of media, by many orders of magnitude, [...]

  29. [...] No Comments Like a Molotov cocktail hurled into a crowd, Publishing 2.0 blogger Scott Karp has ignited the already heated debate about the future of journalism and publishing with his most recent post, entitled “The market and [...]

  30. we have started an online business magazine for female internet heroes 4 months ago; content is great, feedback from industry leaders is awesome, so far we have also organized 2 events (cross media, yes we are) and have been invited to speak (indirect income). now the time has come to monitize a bit more. Would love advice of all these great commentators above and from you Scott.

  31. [...] Karp of Publishing 2.0 says your audience doesn’t care if you’re not making any money. Makes sense to [...]

  32. [...] The market and the Internet don’t care if you make money – News organizations can’t live by the same assumptions they always held about their business, says new media analyst Scott Karp, on Publishing 2.0. The market doesn’t care about traffic or eyeballs, it cares about networks, something Google, Facebook and YouTube have already figured out. [...]

  33. [...] Karp has a great article over at Publishing2 has a great post entitled: The Market and the Internet Don’t Care If You Make Money. It opened my eyes to how some industrys feel the need to hold out there hands and demand for new [...]

  34. Oh man, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree. If I had a nickel for every disgruntled journalist I saw on a panel who bemoaned the death of the newspapers and the fact that the younger generation is going to be news-illiterate, I’d be very wealthy. It’s absolutely entitlement. I want to scream at them: hey, if your stuff is so good and so informative and educational, then why isn’t everyone reading it? If it’s really so fantastic, then why aren’t people finding it online? And then they have a special place reserved in hell for news bloggers. YOU NEED US! they yell. Without us you’d have no news to blog about! Well, I beg to differ. Just as there’s always more music, there will always be news and someone will cover it and even cover it well. People are becoming intelligent enough to consume news from a variety of different sources and this should be viewed as a GOOD thing, not bad. Oh my god, so people aren’t looking solely looking to their local daily for news??!! Cry me a river! Either produce good stuff and compete or step aside.

  35. [...] The Market and The Internet Don’t Care if you make money. [...]

  36. Rubin confesses: “You’ll never find a journalist worth his or her salt who will tell you with a straight face that they got into journalism for the money. They got into it because they felt a calling that is every bit as strong and relevant as the one that some feel toward becoming a part of the clergy or even to run for national office.”

    And that is exactly what is wrong with everyone who has this attitude. That’s what has squandered trust and credibility. Sow the breaking wind, reap the whirlwind.

  37. [...] Karp writes that ‘the web is disruptive force in the history of media.’ He argues that it is destroying the [...]

  38. Some advice from a decades long consumer of news:

    1. Rediscover objectivity and/or self-identification of bias. But it sure would be nice to have option #1 available, at from an AP style fact gathering organization.

    2. Find subject matter specialists who can report, not the other way around (which obviously doesn’t work). This used to be much more common in the bad old ’50s. For example, most military and business “correspondents” actually had backgrounds and/or experience in the fields. It made for good, in-depth reporting that does not now exist.

    3. Try to remember that government and politics are not the only story. The Fourth Estate actually facilitates the growth of bigger and more intrusive government by making the front section (print) and overwhelming dominance on network/cable news. For example, notice how “business” is relegated to its own back lot as if it was only for investor geeks.

    4. Perhaps most importantly, globalize the news networks (not TV, the generic sense). This does NOT mean the CNN style top down operation, but a network built from the ground up. Newsflash: there are quality national news organizations all around the world, to say nothing of born and bred bloggers. We live in an English speaking world, use it, FGS. It will take time and energy to construct this network, but it can be done.

    BTW the networks working together will wind up multiplying the confusion and inefficiency rather than solving it. That is NOT the road to go down.

  39. [...] hoje um interessante post que comenta o mais novo livro de Seth Godin, intitulado Tribes!  O post, que tem o título acima, está publicado no blog Publishing 2.0: The (re)Evolution of [...]

  40. [...] “Ask not what the market can do for you, but what you can do for the market.” Answer: Fine. But first, tell the market to stop [...]

  41. Great article!

    Michael, I have to say, as a fellow writer, I understand what you’re saying, but it seems you’re looking at this as if it’s about the writers. It’s not. It’s about the business execs running these media companies. Sorry, but I doubt they believe in civic duty as strongly as you or I, or fellow writers who have upheld the standards of ethics and integrity in this industry. Their bottom line is profit. They somehow think that they’re entitled to profit because journalists have made print news such an important part of our society. But the fact is, journalism will continue (even if redefined) with or without these business executives and their dinosaur business models.

  42. [...] Does the Internet care about you making money? Publishing 2.0 has an interesting analysis of how the market and your business model may not actually be actually seeing eye-to-eye.  The post uses the example of the newspaper industry and how it approached the online industry with a sense of entitlement, which may have caused it some obstacles. The post says, “Ask not what the market can do for you, but what you can do for the market.” Read more here. [...]

  43. [...] Hilfe eines Bundesschirms für die digitale Medienbranche. Scott Karp, Autor von Publishing2.com, formuliert dies ziemlich erbarmungslos: Dem Markt und dem Internet ist es egal, ob du Geld verdienst. Es gibt kein Recht auf ein [...]

  44. I believe that Google’s CEO already asked if journalism should be a paid profession. Yeah. But when I asked them to use one of their applications for free, they refused. Why? According to Google’s “visionary” network philosophy, there should not be any artificial protection of content: applications just like articles shold not be copyrighted. Or is this an example of pure double standard in the new Web economy proposed by Google?

  45. [...] a lot of talk about new business models, about the market not caring if we make money, about there being no right to a job in a newsroom. There’s a lot of talk about regional [...]

  46. [...] Karp at publishing 2.0 channels Seth Godin with his call to arms for the print industry. The market and the internet don’t care if you make money, and the industry needs to adapt if it is to [...]

  47. [...] detrimental to the community? Quite possibly. Is that a bad thing? Well, as someone else put it, the feared loss of civic value is not the basis for a business. The newspaper industry is in the same boat as the auto industry or the recording industry: it’s [...]

  48. [...] Does the Internet care about you making money? Publishing 2.0 has an interesting analysis of how the market and your business model may not actually be actually seeing eye-to-eye.  The post uses the example of the newspaper industry and how it approached the online industry with a sense of entitlement, which may have caused it some obstacles. The post says, “Ask not what the market can do for you, but what you can do for the market.” Read more here. [...]

  49. [...] Does the Internet care about you making money? Publishing 2.0 has an interesting analysis of how the market and your business model may not actually be actually seeing eye-to-eye.  The post uses the example of the newspaper industry and how it approached the online industry with a sense of entitlement, which may have caused it some obstacles. The post says, “Ask not what the market can do for you, but what you can do for the market.” Read more here. [...]

  50. I’m just a blogger and writer not a journalist. As I read the ideas and solutions to save the Newspaper business, I could be wrong but it seems many ideas and solutions ignore traditional journalism and want them to become blogs or ‘how to’ websites. God forbid.

    When I read a newspaper I want the hard news first and the other stuff second. I want them to present the news, not school me. A lot of the stuff newspapers present these days as front page news is silly if I place it in the context of hard news and what use to appear on front pages.

    I miss the stubborn conviction of the Newspaper Industry to be journalists and the ego that made them go out and get the news for me to read. They make mistakes. They are flawed. There is arrogance and what else is new. That covers most businesses.

    To do away with the traditional mission and model in my opinion will be the death of newspapers and real news.

    Help sections are fine. Lifestyle, wonderful. But there are magazines for that. I want to know what is going on in the world, the serious stuff and I want it to come from people who have a passion for what they do and a professional way of telling me about it. I don’t need to fall in love with them.

    At this rate it looks like advertisers will rule the world. I’m old enough to remember when it was almost impossible to pass by a newsstand without being drawn to the headlines leaping out at you.

    Now, I rarely buy a newspaper. If serious journalism goes away what’s left?

    God help us if they turn into non-profit organizations. Are they suppose to cover the war in Iraq on donations? Will reporters need fundraisers to keep their jobs?

    Call me old fashioned. I like going to the newsstand or store to buy a newspaper. I like having the option of subscribing to have it come to my door.

    I want to drink my coffee at home with the sections of the newspaper strewn all over the sofa and coffee table.

    What I don’t want is to sit in front of a computer screen scrolling for news. I sacrificed a lot to buy a sofa, to sit on it, read books and newspapers in the comfort of my home.

    As far as saving trees which is another argument. God created seed to replace trees. Killing off newspapers will not save trees. They need water and we’re running out of it. Looks like newspapers won’t be around to report it though.

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