Newspapers and tough love

As the Telegraph heads to new headquarters, gets new presses, shifts to 24-hour digital newsrooms, and lays off staffers in the midst of all this, the head of the company makes the kind of tough noises of reorganization we should be hearing in the industry:

Job losses are necessary at the Telegraph Group because the digital revolution was making some newspaper practices obsolete, chief executive Murdoch MacLennan said today. . . .

“Some aspects of our news operation have not altered significantly in decades,” Mr MacLennan said. . . .

“The competition – not just from our traditional print rivals – is changing, growing and becoming fiercer. Readers are migrating online, and advertisers are following them. People are demanding customised news, wherever and whenever they want it. We have to adapt to these realities, or face a future of decline which goes to the very heart of our business,” he said.

  • Danny L. McDaniel

    I must be the only person in the United States who believes newspapers are not relegated to history. The newspaper industry is still a vibrant sector to invest. I still don’t understand the necessity to break up Knight-Ridder for the sake of investors. The circulation numbers are still impressive although greatly down the past several decades, and I believe the “golden age” for newspapers is just beginning.

    This is not to say the weblogs and the internet haven’t hurt newspapers because they have. I see newspapers keeping weblogs honesty and actually helping newspapers reach the segment of the population that need and take serious daily news. It is true that newspapers are the functioning part of American democracy in search of information, and weblogs are information in search of democracy. Both medium have much to learn from each other and over the next five years will learn to compete as well as compliment each other.

    The days of the family owned newspapers are long over. The Hearsts, Scripps, Gannetts, Grahams are now for graduate journalism students and the history books. But the lessons each gave can still be utilized in todays highly competeitive newspaper industry, which is what a free-market economy is all about. Can anyone name a cable news show that doesn’t quote several newspapers daily and have multiple reporters and editors on for guests? Similiar to the two major political parties, newspapers are often describes as irrelevant and dying, sometimes by the very people who work, operate and write for them, but they are still needed and desired by the public to achieve the nations agenda.

    I know that instaneous news via a sorted array of high-tech gadgetry is here to stay. But fear not, when the Generation Xers reach their 40s in a decade or more and those tiny screens get harder and harder to see their only cure will be eyeglasses and newspapers.

    Danny L. McDaniel
    Lafayette, Indiana

  • Pingback: BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » Starship Telegraph