Pity purchase

A friend sent me a link to a Facebook group called, Don’t let newspapers die. It’s cure: “Help spread the word and encourage people to pick up a newspaper today!”

So newspapers have become pathetic charity cases.

I’d rather join a group called, Reinvent newspapers.

: In the comments, the Reinvent newspapers group is started and I just joined.

  • Or newspapers could get a bailout by registering as bank holding companies and tap the tarp fund like everyone else

  • Lots of people seem to be forgetting that competition is essentially a good thing; it brings about improvement. I’ve read Andrew Keen’s ‘Cult of the Amateur’, and I understand that is difficult for people to lose their jobs, particularly in the current economic crisis, yet this process has been going on for hundreds of years. One industry is slowly superseded by another. There is absolutely nothing to say that print media will go out of business; provided they do what everyone else has to do by remaining competitive. Why not focus the efforts that are currently being put into campaigns such as those described above into identifying a means of remaining competitive.


  • dloye

    The comment of buying newspapers as some sort of do gooderism reminds me of the arguments against acting out of pity. There’s a time and a place, but buying a newspaper isn’t fundamentally an act of charity.

  • Daniel Rigby

    Schumpeters’ “Creative Destruction”

  • i shall start a group called “save the typewriters! help spread the word one carbon copy at a time!”

  • OK, Jeff, then join it!

    (I just created said group; Reinvent Newspapers)

  • Tom Schneider

    I suppose they could apply for some Endowment for the Arts grants? How much is good journalism like good poetry?

  • kindle user

    Then again, if you read a news product for free all the time, you might think about how you can make sure it sticks around, click on an ad or something. I have never been a fan of the NPR news-held-hostage fund-raising model, but it has made me donate from time to time, so maybe newspaper web sites ought to force you to pony up something once in a while…For one week a month, throw up a subscription toll to get access w/o interruption. Otherwise you have to listen to a pitch for 20 minutes first. This way they don’t go completely dark to the Web, but the free riders realize hey we do value something besides AP reports and half-accurate biased craptastic blogs, present company excluded.

  • I do not think it is a matter of wanting or letting or not.
    I guess the newspapers (the ones on paper I mean) will die the moment they will put on the market (at a decent price) a reader (not too heavy) which will allow you to:

    1) Have a decent size where to be able to read without scrolling every line.
    2) Have nice colours, so that the printing paper will look much more expensive.
    3) Allowing interaction if the paper is read online
    4) May be having music in the background if desired.
    5) Will have the possibility to be charged wirelessly.
    6) You will be able to read them ALSO in the toilet.

  • This is the inconvenient truth about newspapers: most of the Google generation couldn’t care less. The same applies for journalism. I’ve been a journalist for more than 30 years and I fully agree that the press is a very important thing for democracy. People need to be informed. But the first thing that journalists have to understand is that it’s their opinion that they are of essence, it’s not a fact, at least not for young people. And sure, this is not a 100 % truth. There are young people who care about journalism (ask any journalist under 30). But my guess is this unconvenient truth is a 99% truth.

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  • Um, so someone formed a Facebook group and you’re taking that as indicative of everyone who loves newspapers wanting to make them a charity cause? There’s a Facebook group for fans of bacon. Hell, I formed a Facebook group saying I’m a fan of myself. Anyone can form a Facebook group. They’re not indicative of anything other than that the author has a Facebook account.

    Maybe you shouldn’t take this as such a sign. Maybe, just maybe, there are people out there (and this is the secret bit) other than Jeff Jarvis (gasp!) who also realize newspapers need to be reinvented. They just haven’t formed Facebook groups.

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  • Ooh, I love newspapers!! :)

    *AND* typewriters!! :) he he…

    It’s interesting that a Spanish-language US newspaper/magazine for non-office-workers seems to thrive..? (At least I read so somewhere..)

    In a rural area with not everyone online newspapers may have a future too..

    Also, what *IF* (big IF!) maybe Peak Oil and ‘worst case’ scenario happens, what if all internet suddenly disappears? hmm!
    Maybe we’d see the rise of the newspaper again? ;)

    I love the internet and easy accessibility of e-books and e-contents..
    You can’t wrap up warm chestnuts into a Kindle though..
    Also, what about people who are hypersensitive to technology?

    Great points Patrizia! You can read a Kindle in the toilet, but you can’t uhm.. substitute it in case if toilet paper runs out..??!! :)