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Do We Care About Newspapers?

April 12, 2009

Todd Defren ran an informal poll and started a very intellectual thread in his blog called Nobody Cares About Newspapers. Some of my favorite bloggers including Chris Brogan, Richard Binhammer and CC Chapman contributed to the conversation.

Most of us care about newspapers. However the function they provide is slowly being broken apart and assumed by other mediums. Here’s a few of my thoughts about Newspapers and the Newspaper industry.

The internet has disintermediated (removed the middleman) for hundreds of industries or functions within businesses. Do you remember when you used to book flights through a travel agent? Or buy music at a record store?

Search engines (Google) and RSS feeds have disintermediated the delivery of news function of the newspapers. Every day a smaller portion of us read a paper newspaper and a huge portion get their news online or on our mobile device in a format we have customized for ourselves.

In his blog post, Defren mentions the pleasure of ‘taking his New York Times out to his deck’. The Amazon Kindle threatens to disintermediate the portability and readability of news. All that will be left for those of us over the age of 30 may be the nostalgic tactile feel of turning newspaper pages.

Chris Brogan highlighted the future of journalism in Twittering about Defren’s post. The remaining asset the newspapers own is Trust (although this is constantly in question) an independent source of trusted journalism. I believe that in order to survive, the Newspaper industry must reinvent itself and nurture ‘authority’ and ‘trust’ and learn to deliver it in a Kindle/iPhone world.