Where are all the newspapers going? To graveyards every one …

As I wrote back in 2012, newspapers’ raison d’etre, the news, is being spidered and copied, repurposed and regurgitated by thousands of aggregators and bloggers, Tweeters, Googlers and Yahooers and the like, until the original source is irrelevant — as a brand and as a financially going concern.

I quoted Alan Mutter’s Newsosaur blog that warned that newspapers are being outsmarted in the bid for mobile advertising. He noted Apple and Google have increased their efforts to grab a bigger share of the local advertising market via smart phones.

This week Congress apparently is taking notice.

The Associated Press is reporting that the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel heard from news media associations that accused big tech companies of jeopardizing the industry’s economic survival by putting news content on their platforms without fairly compensating those who created the news. (Sort of like this blog is doing right now.)

Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat and the subcommittee chairman, was quoted as saying Congress must determine whether the antitrust laws “are equipped for the competition problems of our modern economy.”

David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance which represents about 2,000 news organizations, was quoted as saying, “There’s a real urgency in the industry. We’re at crisis point now.”

But Google’s vice president of news Richard Gringas said in a statement Google drives billions of clicks to publishers’ websites, which creates revenue.

But too often online sites just plagiarize the costly and exclusive news content, denying newspapers customers. Of course, newspapers are also guilty of giving away their own content, often posting news stories online days before they are published in print for paying customers and paying advertisers.

Back in 2012 a Moody’s analysis warned, “At this point, there is no evidence digital strategies are returning most daily newspapers to positive growth. It is merely a way to moderate revenue declines.”

Newspapers keep cutting jobs — jobs that produce the content their customers are seeking. It is death spiral.

Matt Schruers, vice president of law and policy with the Computer and Communications Industry Association, left, David Pitofsky, general counsel of News Corp, center, and Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, right, are sworn-in before testifying before the House Judiciary Antitrust subcommittee hearing. (AP pix)

5 comments on “Where are all the newspapers going? To graveyards every one …

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if there’s enough revenue in the news business for google to one day simply take over the provision of content rather than just publishing what others write

  2. Rincon says:

    Wouldn’t want the nasty ol’ government interfering with free enterprise, would we?

  3. Steve says:

    Look to the music industry. They figured it out.

  4. bc says:

    so who is going to cover the local school district and other local issues that has the understanding of the local politics and history. Google? Not a chance. All the local small stuff, state stuff, none of that is of concern to Google or someone like that and local TV is only concerned with stories that drive ratings and can fit in a 90 second sound bite.

    On the ground and in the weeds news, that is what newspapers provide. For those who want it fast and on the internet, digitally subscribe to your local newspaper for 10 bucks a month

    If you want the news, fast, accurate and in depth, newspapers are the only way to go.

    I am not sure of the business model that makes it all work but nobody provides the services that newspapers provide.

  5. Steve says:

    Charge by the article. Music industry discovered songs sell for .99c each. Just not worth the effort to find and download when you can pay less than a buck and have the song instantly.
    So charge per article.
    When a reader gets enough articles to cover the cost of a subscription, enable access for the reader’s browser. For a period equal to the amount spent reading articles.
    Pay for enough articles, a subscription period is provided and advertisers are informed of the new sub.
    Round and round it goes, the more readers, the more subs the more advertisers.

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