The Incredible Shrinking Newspaper

Sll"Whatever you do, don’t mistake the decline of newspapers with the
decline of journalism. Much of what we’re witnessing is the delayed
right-sizing of newspapers and newspaper publisher and editor egos in
the multimedia age. Many papers, the Los Angeles Times in
particular, are still paying for expanding their circulation areas too
far beyond their geographic cores. The closures of foreign bureaus and
downsizing of Washington offices by newspapers are much lamented by
journalists, but how essential are they in an age when any reader can
call up on his screen free coverage by the top U.S. dailies and the
foreign press?

Like the ailing—but much alive—character prematurely tossed onto the meat wagon in Monty Python and the Holy Grail,
newspapers are right to shout, "I’m not dead!" In their dying, the best
newspapers are plotting—and experiencing—rebirths as multiplatform news
companies. They’re building out their Web sites, investing in free
daily tabloids, partnering more extensively with radio and TV, sending
advertiser-supported news to cell phones, and frantically devising
business models to make the new equation work…."

Jack Shafer

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[Thanks John!]

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