Today's Mighty Oak

Newspapers are dying, and have been for 28 years

Tech Crunch is reporting on a video from 1981, discussing daily newspapers foray onto the Internet as a distribution method.

It’s a common misconception that newspapers are simply late to the Internet game. As this video shows, some of them (including some of the major ones now failing) have been thinking about this stuff for 28 years.

Over and over again we repeat that newspapers are dying, and that citizen journalists are stepping up to fill in the void of local news.  The article talks about the new Kindle coming out and the deal they have with daily newspapers The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal (and rumored deals with The Boston Globe and The Washington Post).  Is the Kindle the electronic medium that will save the newspapers?

This week on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s podcast, “Tech Talk,” they discuss that idea.  And while they don’t think the Kindle will be the savior to the newspaper industry, the feeling is that it could hold them over until they get a grasp on a business model that will be profitable.

But in the meantime, we have citizen journalists.  And while newspapers have large staffs and are able to cover all the news, the beauty of citizen journalism is that each person may cover one or two specific topics, but in those topics, find the passion that they need to dig deep, sometimes deeper than professional journalists have the luxury to.  Citizen journalists may not have distribution deals with the Kindle, but with the growing popularity of netbooks and Internet-enabled phones, and entire cities now being blanketed with wireless Internet, there certainly is room for both to work with one another, complimenting each other’s strengths and filling in each other’s weaknesses.

Make sure to head over to Tech Crunch to read the article and watch the video, and count your blessings we now have 21st century technology.

Update: Maybe I’m jumping into this story at just the right moment, but two more stories on this subject grabbed my attention this morning.  First, yesterday’s “Culture Gabfest” from Slate and secondly the Financial Times reports on the story as well.  Also a correction above adding The Washington Post.

(h/t to PR Junkie)

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