Stopping the Presses

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The Internet has changed the economics of the publishing industry in a way commercial television never did. The price of news and information has irrevocably been pushed way down the supply/demand curve. The Web has also destroyed the functional monopoly of the local daily newspaper with the very high barriers to technical entry. Anyone can be a publisher, and, it seems, these days, most anyone is.

-- Forbes, 2/22/2005

Also, see Forbes article All The Loyalty That's Fit To Print, 2/23/2005

"Stopping the Presses" is the pessimistic view (the nightmare of cost-cutting to profitability). But in truth the transition to a new economic model will be bloody .. there's no way around it. The difficult question raised in the article is: "How serious news organizations will survive when print is in decline but online is not yet generating the revenue to fund expensive newsgathering operations."

I believe -- as someone in the newspaper industry -- we will, however, remake ourselves. And while change we must, the industry's doomsayers might want to remember this quote from Mark Twain: You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.