What’s the future of the newspaper?

As I’ve mused in the past, I don’t think the paper newspaper translates very well into the online space.  With the news of the New York Times cutting 100 of its newsroom jobs,  I start thinking about who/what will be the future of the industry.  Obviously depending on a paper newspaper and paper ads isn’t enough.

More and more I think the future is a personlized start page, like iGoogle or Netvibes.

What does a newspaper?… It takes a bunch of different disparate sources of information from around the world and aggregates them into one convenient space.

What does a personalized start page do? … It takes a bunch of different disparate sources of information from around the world and aggregates them into one convenient space.

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5 thoughts on “What’s the future of the newspaper?”

  1. Justin-
    I agree with you about the future being personalized start pages, but wonder about the extent to which people will seek out disparate sources of information. Most research shows that people tend to seek out information sources that agree with their views, and become more polarized in the process. Do you think this will happen as people rely more on their own personalized information streams? Obviously a question with a lot of implications for individuals and our society – as Peter Morville’s sub-title of his book says, “What We Find Changes Who We Become.”
    Victoria

  2. I think papers will be around for a while, at least in the US. Many people still like to read paper than electronic paper. At Sony the reader was a huge hit in Japan but took a while to catch on in the US. It is still not that big of a hit. I think newspapers are easier to read than electronic paper.

  3. Although the US newspaper industry is definitely in decline, I’ve heard the newspaper industry in India is growing at a breakneck pace. I’m not sure that small-town newspapers are having it so hard though (someone correct me if I’m wrong).

    @Victoria: while this research may be true for general interest news, I don’t know that it necessarily applies for niches. For instance, I have an interest in urban development and read a lot of blogs/sites for related news. Many of the stories on these sites are authored by people who have political philosophies that are significantly different from my own, giving me a chance to reevaluate some of my positions. I’ve heard of this research before, but I think it’s only scratching the surface of what’s actually happening.

  4. Well, newspapers aren’t going to be absolute anytime soon, just look at how books are doing compared their digital counterparts, eBooks.

    It’s all about form factor, and until I can have the flexibility and portability that a book or newspaper offers.. I won’t be switching to an eReader or some portable device to read newspapers.

  5. Not to be too snarky, but the newspaper industry is still very profitable. It’s a declining market with more rapidly declining costs and has a return on investment in the 20% range.

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