Craigslist Innovation knocking newspapers knees?

This is a pretty interesting story, particularly in light of what happened to me today, when I thought I’d “scooped” the world on Mary Mapes’ book treatment, only to learn that I’d merely scooped the blogs. The story on Mapes had been out since that morning, via Lloyd Grove and the NY Daily News.

What I thought was interesting was that no one online seemed to know about Grove’s item. Which meant one of several things to me: either Daily News readers are NOT blogophiles, or blog readers are truly in the process of abandoning print media.

Now, comes this article in the Macon Telegraph, with it’s cautionary headline:

Internet’s growth, innovation threatens newspapers

You’ll want to read the whole story – it’s pretty good – but here are a few excerpts:

A sense of urgency and concern has been running through the industry as news executives prepared for the annual meetings of the Newspaper Association of America and The Associated Press in San Francisco Sunday through Tuesday.


“There are pockets of people within every (newspaper) who think we should be doing more on the Internet, but there are also other pockets of people who wish it would just all go away,” said Ian Murdock, senior vice president of the San Francisco Chronicle.


The newspaper industry is finding it particularly difficult to attract the younger readers prized by advertisers. Just 39 percent of adults 18 to 34 years old read a newspaper last year, according to the association. More than two-thirds of adults 55 or older still read a paper.

“Newspaper readers are dying off faster than they can be replaced,” said industry analyst John Morton. “It’s a trend that’s been exacerbated by the Internet. It’s a fairly deep problem and it’s not going away.”

Two small observations: 1) Many in the television news organizations also wish the internet would “just go away.”

Not likely unless (as we are seeing in Canada) the jack-boot-y types start goosestomping on the ‘net and its key players.

2) Print readers are dying off faster than they can be replaced? Sort of sounds like the tax-base in a socialistic society, doesn’t it? Bells are tolling for both.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • DeputyHeadmistress

    Ooh, my favorite sentence was this one:

    “Ignoring the online threat doesn’t seem to be a viable business plan.”

    Oh, that makes me chuckle.

  • stephanie

    “dying off faster than they can be replaced? Sort of sounds like the tax-base in a socialistic society, doesn’t it?” Nice. If I’ d said that about conservatives, would that be a fair statementy, or would you think I was being snarky?

  • TheAnchoress

    Whatssamatta with being snarky? :-)

  • Ellen

    I was at a book conference and the editor of the Louisville Courier Journal was there. When someone asked him about blogs, he said he never read them. He also made snide comments about conservatives all through the presentation. I’m so glad I cancelled my subscription.