Websites don’t kill newspapers, people kill newspapers.


The newspaper. One of the most sacred institutions of the publishing world and one of its oldest, most respected methods of knowledge gathering and collection of popular opinion, dating all the way back to the first printing presses ever created. There is something uniquely special about waking up, grabbing the paper from your front steps in your slippers, and reading about the world over a cup of coffee. Even your cat standing directly in front of your face so you must crane your neck while trying to read about a local celebration or tragedy is endearing.

For ages, the newspaper has been our way to hear the news from far and wide of our neighbors, governments, and businesses. There is a reason so many papers are called “The Herald;” it’s fallen to the news outlets to shout from the rooftops and prioritize what’s worth hearing and what isn’t for their readers.

And we’re killing them. We aren’t even killing them softly — we are forcibly wiping this age old institution from the face of planet Earth.

Why? Because the institution of the newspaper, as it exists today, can’t keep up with our desire for more information right now.

Websites like Huffington Post aren’t really the cause of this demise, even though they often take the blame and are considered inferior to traditional media publications due to their community-focused and laissez-faire attitudes. But in reality, HuffPo and similar media outlets are just an evolution of the printed newspaper. They serve the same function and many even employ a similar number of people, just not the same type of people.

Major media doesn’t break news anymore. Twitter does. Then major media reports. Social technology has scaled individuals relationships and world connections in such a way that allows for regular people to report on world events of huge importance and have their voices heard. No one has to go to school to be a journalist anymore.. if you are reading this, you already are a journalist. And so is the person next to you, or your mother, or any of the 2 billion+ social media users in the world.

So, in reality, websites like Huffington Post or TechCrunch are not killing the newspaper industry. People are — by leveling the playing field for what is newsworthy and what isn’t, and the ability to quickly satiate other people’s need for information, whereas traditional printed news media is unable to keep up.

Is this bad? I don’t necessarily think so. I wholeheartedly believe that the perspective of someone who is not a subject-matter expert can often be the most insightful, the most honest, and the most creative. But I also believe we need to think creatively about saving the newspaper industry, not simply because it is a beautiful old institution, but also because we still do need subject-matter experts to help us curate the crazy amount of content available in the world. We need people to organize the chaos, and I think this function is what is missing from the evolution of news and the news cycle.

What you can do to help:

  • Curate your own newspaper about a topic you love. Try a tool like Paper.li and share it with your social networks.
  • If you enjoy writing, become a contributor to online publications. Some are open platforms and simply require an account to contribute. Become a source for quality original content and raise the bar for community-sourced content publishers.
  • If you own a business or are in a hiring position at your company, hire journalists in roles outside of reporting. The skill set they have is surprisingly flexible and applicable to many parts of your business.
  • Use Scoop.it to curate relevant web content about a topic you enjoy and enrich it with your own insight to share with your network.

What do you think? Do you think that the dawn of a new age in journalism is a good thing or a shockingly bad one? Tell us!

  • http://twitter.com/nickcicero Nick Cicero

    My thoughts…

    I would also add to this: comment directly on your favorite news stories.

    While curation via paper.li and other sources are great to redisplay stories, that doesn’t necessarily provide the direct path to engagement these outlets require to afford to create this content.

    As a content delivery vehicle, the paper newspaper will never serve the same purpose again, however the media brand identities survive as their own communities online, so people really need to start making their voices heard under the articles.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.hallaert.7 Paul Hallaert

      agree.

  • http://twitter.com/nickcicero Nick Cicero

    My thoughts…

    I would also add to this: comment directly on your favorite news stories.

    While curation via paper.li and other sources are great to redisplay stories, that doesn’t necessarily provide the direct path to engagement these outlets require to afford to create this content.

    As a content delivery vehicle, the paper newspaper will never serve the same purpose again, however the media brand identities survive as their own communities online, so people really need to start making their voices heard under the articles.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.hallaert.7 Paul Hallaert

      agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tami.belt Tami Belt

    Many newspapers have failed adapt to the new media landscape. Their core competency is the accumulation, fact checking and distribution of information. With so many national and niche news sources, newspapers are challenged to rethink distribution channels and redefine ‘news’ in terms of their audience. Localization is key.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tami.belt Tami Belt

    Many newspapers have failed adapt to the new media landscape. Their core competency is the accumulation, fact checking and distribution of information. With so many national and niche news sources, newspapers are challenged to rethink distribution channels and redefine ‘news’ in terms of their audience. Localization is key.

  • http://twitter.com/BroadbandCensus BroadbandCensus
  • http://twitter.com/BroadbandCensus BroadbandCensus
  • http://m1c.com/ Ali Almoosawi

    Very good points Tami! But there are still large number of readers that prefer to get the daily “What’s going on” from a newspaper. I use Paper.li for social media news and it is really a good platform. Furthermore, Scoop.it is another great platform i am using for expanding my name over the web,

  • http://alialmoosawi.com/ Ali Almoosawi

    Very good points Tami! But there are still large number of readers that prefer to get the daily “What’s going on” from a newspaper. I use Paper.li for social media news and it is really a good platform. Furthermore, Scoop.it is another great platform i am using for expanding my name over the web,

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.gaynor1 Chris Gaynor

    Good journalism is not about being able to write news stories or churn out press releases, it’s about being able to persuade a group to come to your point of view when you write a comment article. For me, a lot of the comment and opinion that’s written in the mainstream is complete drivel, with a partisan angle on it. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen online, but I would much rather read 100 views on a subject than just 10 from a circle of elitists!!

    As Kevin Spacey said in the film Negotiator, I don’t just read one book on the subject, I read several, get all the facts, and then make a judgement on who’s telling the truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.gaynor1 Chris Gaynor

    Good journalism is not about being able to write news stories or churn out press releases, it’s about being able to persuade a group to come to your point of view when you write a comment article. For me, a lot of the comment and opinion that’s written in the mainstream is complete drivel, with a partisan angle on it. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen online, but I would much rather read 100 views on a subject than just 10 from a circle of elitists!!

    As Kevin Spacey said in the film Negotiator, I don’t just read one book on the subject, I read several, get all the facts, and then make a judgement on who’s telling the truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.hallaert.7 Paul Hallaert

    VERRRY GOOD EVO!
    OKPaul.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.hallaert.7 Paul Hallaert

      indeed!..

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.hallaert.7 Paul Hallaert

    VERRRY GOOD EVO!
    OKPaul.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.hallaert.7 Paul Hallaert

      indeed!..

  • Sakis Koukouvis

    I am working in a newspaper and I see this danger.

  • Sakis Koukouvis

    I am working in a newspaper and I see this danger.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fyaw.nym Fyaw Nym

    We all have to deal with change. Looking at the issue from a Technological Determinism perspective, the invention of the Web changes society to such a degree that newspapers are no longer required. However, good journalism is still required – more then ever. The competition comes from the traditional readership which has been liberated as reader/authors through the sharing facilities of the Web. Good journalists will always be able to compete against amateur journalists, as long as they show integrity towards their readers. It doesn’t really make a big difference if this happens within a blog or a newspaper, but it is harder to get away with murder when readers have more than a newspaper and a plethora of alternative sources to prove that claims made are either accurate or false.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fyaw.nym Fyaw Nym

    We all have to deal with change. Looking at the issue from a Technological Determinism perspective, the invention of the Web changes society to such a degree that newspapers are no longer required. However, good journalism is still required – more then ever. The competition comes from the traditional readership which has been liberated as reader/authors through the sharing facilities of the Web. Good journalists will always be able to compete against amateur journalists, as long as they show integrity towards their readers. It doesn’t really make a big difference if this happens within a blog or a newspaper, but it is harder to get away with murder when readers have more than a newspaper and a plethora of alternative sources to prove that claims made are either accurate or false.

  • http://www.manilatop10.com/SpecialOffers.html manilatop10

    Good posting, I just scanned for now.

    I’ve used the one site for awhile … this place seems better since

    we can comment learn etc.

    http://paper.li/f-1291924547 http://paper.li/manilatop10 I’ll have to spend some time here to know how stuff works, thanks!