RIP Local Paper

February 2nd, 2009 Michael Posted in Advertising, Michael, neighborhoods | 4 Comments »

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Everyone knows the newspaper industry is having a rough time lately.  Between the economic climate, advertisers drying up and content increasingly going online, it's getting more and more difficult for a local paper to sustain itself.  Covering the expensive costs of writing, printing and delivering paper editions has put a few papers out of business.  A site called Newspaper Death Watch is even “chronicling the decline of newspapers”.  We got wind this week that Denver residents are taking a stand for the local paper holding a candlelight vigil for the Rocky Mountain News, the city's 150-year-old paper.

Newspapers will survive in one form or another. Recently we ran across a very unique approach from The Printed Blog. But regardless of what emerges, neighborhood businesses and local residents are increasingly moving their “voice” online.

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Only a few years ago, the local paper was the only place you could find hyper-local happenings.  What everyone who loves neighborhoods agrees on is that those business and residents need a platform – to communicate and to stay in the loop.

We believe that the future isn't one monolithic media source. It will be many, smaller sources. Do you own a restaurant? You better participate in Yelp. A live music venue? MySpace. You want to offer Wi-Fi? SkyBlox. Instead of one ad for $500 per month in one local paper, local businesses will increasingly pay smaller amounts across a number of platforms. Or use their free offerings.

These methods are the best ways to reach the mobile, higher-demographic customers that every business desires.

We'll miss the weekend paper and cup of coffee as much as anyone.

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4 Responses to “RIP Local Paper”

  1. A century ago, the railroads made the mistake of thinking they were in the railroad business, rather than the transportation business, and were soon marginalized by the auto industry. Seventy-five years ago, the major radio broadcasters realized they were in the communications business rather than the radio business, and were able to transition to TV (of course, it didn’t hurt that they used their political muscle to ensure themselves an oligopoly).

    Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, for companies such as Skyblox and Yelp), it seems as though newspapers are intent on following the lead of the railroads rather than the radio broadcasters. The goal of a newspaper is not to put ink on paper and distribute it to people’s homes and newsstands. It’s to bring a like-minded community (based on geographical proximity, ideological sympathy or other common interests) and create value through those connections. For a long time, the newspaper has been the best way to accomplish that goal. But now that model is failing, and the newspaper industry appears too stuck in its ways to realize the ground has shifted beneath it. Newspapers won’t disappear completely — like trains and radio, they’ll continue in some sort of niche role. But they will need to adjust to no longer being at the top of the info-distribution food chain.

  2. Although I get my news on Line

    I never thought that would lead to the demise of Newspapers

    Sorry!

    ZuD

  3. Your website is so educational … keep up the excellent perform!!!!

  4. I love your take on this, could not agree more.