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What Will Replace The “Dead Tree Edition”?

Topics: Popular Media | Add A CommentBy admin | June 2, 2010

While the continuing demise of major print news sources is inevitable, what will replace them?

The fact that the term “dead-tree edition” even exists is a clear expression of the state of newspapers today. It’s clear that big changes are afoot, and it’s even clearer that no-one knows where those changes will take us. While Steve Jobs is talking about his fear of America turning into a nation of bloggers, Yahoo News is banking on exactly that as a big moneymaker. And while Rupert Murdoch loves the iPad – which is being touted as “being to news what the iPod was to music” – he has also lost billions on his takeover of the Wall Street Journal, while not ruining it in the ways everyone expected. And though people have been arguing for a while that Google has somehow contributed to the demise of print news, this piece in The Atlantic not only points out that Google CEO Eric Schmidt wants to help print news (and ironically said so in a December 2009 Op-Ed piece in the WSJ), it also points to some of the real causes of the newspapers’ demise – mostly loss of ad revenue. And mostly in forms you wouldn’t imagine, like classified ads, which with many papers generated as much as 30% of their income. I’m personally excited to see where it all goes, as long as the Huffington Post doesn’t become the leading on line news source as some expect, and as long as Google doesn’t become the world’s news filter, with their search portal dominance dictating which news Web sites we can find. Oops! We forgot that the new AP Style guide says it’s “website”, not “Web site”. Not that the AP has quite the nearly-biblical influence it used to; even their net income is down 65%, and their very identity is being parodied daily by crappily edited sites that wantonly violate half their guidelines with almost every sentence.