By Clare Baker | October 28th, 2009
Monday, the New York Times reported that newspaper subscriptions have fallen 10% in the last year.
Today, Sam Zell, chairman and chief executive of the Tribune Co., commented on the declining state of newspapers. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, when asked if he regrets his 2007 acquisition of the company, he said, “If we made a mistake, or it didn’t work it, it didn’t work. … and in this particular case, there was such a crash in the revenue side of the entire newspaper business. As you see by the other companies, nobody could survive it.”
The fate of Philadelphia Newspapers hangs in limbo as its creditors rejected an offer to settle its debt and bring the company out of bankruptcy.
With all this talk about the decline of newspapers, it’s easy to get discouraged about the state of the industry whether you’re just starting out or have been around the block a couple times. But the death of newspapers doesn’t mean the death of journalism, even though it’s sometimes hard to see the difference. In a recent post on The Business Insider, Henry Blodget gives his opinion on why he believes journalism is, in fact, alive and well. While I don’t agree with every point he makes, I do think he succinctly sums up the Internet’s positive effect on the industry:
“The Internet is doing to the news business the same thing it has done to dozens of other industries: disrupting it. Specifically, it is taking an old, inefficient system and making it much faster and more efficient. It is also eliminating enormous overcapacity in the news business…As always, this disruption is painful, but it’s not necessarily bad. In fact, as far as a lot of people are concerned, it’s better.”
Journalism isn’t dead. It’s just changing. But I think from these current growing pains, a more efficient, robust and exciting industry will emerge.