Defending their own

Defending their own

: The debut NY Times business column on blogs takes the opportunity to defend newspapers against blogs:

A reporter for The New York Times, she writes, “is just a blogger who happened to attend college; impress some bosses with his or her talent; get some training through experience – and possibly (though certainly not always) journalism school; and receive a podium for his or her pains.”

Which is a little like saying a lawyer is just someone who likes to argue who happened to go to law school, pass the bar, and get a job at a law firm. There is little doubt that blogs are transforming the news media, mostly in positive ways. But what the “blogs will destroy the media business” argument misses is that there are fundamental economic reasons that it can never happen.

And just why is that?

It’s not necessarily that blogs become a new force to challenge newspapers and bring them to their knees. It’s that newspapers’ business models — the very thing the columnist thinks is their salvation, without explaining how — are vulnerable. Sing along: plummeting classified revenue, falling retail ad revenue, declining audience, new competition. This creates a competitive void into which blogs and the internet can march… unless newspapers stop trying to keep them at bay, and instead finds the ways to embrace and take advantage of this great new source of news, information, and diverse viewpoints. See a new newsroom.