Monday Noon Update 10/19/09

CLASSIES ‘LOST FOREVER’: An Ausie in America says classified ads in newspapers are finished, kaput, done, dead — everything but buried. The “rivers of gold will never return”; media execs, “clueless as to what the future holds,” need to decide whether it’s still “worthwhile to run the wretched things in print.”

Among Peter Ricci’s other points: Newspapers will not “get back to normal” when the economy recovers; charging anything more than $19.95 a year for home delivery “is not an impulse buy and will not work”; competing media should combine their distribution networks to “actually make money from distribution.” [Business2]

Newspapers “have a real relevance to a city’s identity. It will be a sad day if this is lost and the blame will lie squarely with the owners of these media groups — who still seem to think that it is their right to control the media and not simply a time limited privilege!”

• • •   • • •   • • •

SOMEONE ELSE’S JOB: As newspaper shrink, “journalism is being revived and reinvented in some encouraging ways.” As reported in today’s Morning Edition, a just released academic report (available for download through this link) will suggest a variety of fixes, including government funding. Media pundit Howard Kurtz disagrees “because of the potential taint of political agendas”; but he is encouraged because “the free market, in its halting, haphazard way, seems to be coughing up some money for new kinds of journalism.” [Washington Post]

NO JOY IN BEANTOWN: It’s time to exhale, now that the NY Times confirmed it won’t dump the Boston Globe. But as we look at the numbers, the celebration will be short lived. [Newsosaur]

EMAILS MAY KO BALLOON BOY’S DAD: Soooooooo much better than a paper trail. [Associated Press]

• • •   • • •   • • •

NEWSPAPERS AND SERENDIPITY: Here’s what we’re giving up as we go from newspaper to newsWeb site

One of the principal functions of a newspaper was to aggregate completely unrelated things, primarily because the newspaper company (and its advertisers) had to appeal to the widest possible group of potential readers, and couldn’t possibly know in advance which parts of the paper they were likely to be most interested it.

As Clay Shirky put it:

The idea that someone who is doing a crossword puzzle may also want news about the coup in Honduras or how the Lakers are doing — it doesn’t make any sense. It’s never made any sense, in terms of what the user wants. It’s what print is pabable of as a bundle.

“This is what has come to be known as the ‘serendipity defence’ for newspapers.” [Mathew Wingram]

• • •   • • •   • • •

BRITISH SPEECH: A Christian couple may loose their hotel business because they debated matters of faith with a Muslim customer. [Daily Mail]  Also: This prosecution should not be a high police priority, [Melanie Phillips] Video report from Christian Broadcasting Network:


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