Future of Newspapers:

"When a new technology comes along to replace you, and you can't think of any other way to fight it, the only way is to increase prices, reduce quality, and take as much money out of the company as you can."
Source: The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age.

Most sectors of the media are cutting back in the newsroom, both in terms of staff and in the time they have to gather and report the news. While there are exceptions, in general journalists face real pressures trying to maintain quality.

The newspaper founded by Joseph Pulitzer in the 19th century, his flagship St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which set the highest standards for American journalism, is now going down in flames.

A large number of very prominent journalists have left the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 41 journalists from the newsroom and 90 from other departments left the city's only daily newspaper after the Pulitzer family sold the news empire to Lee Enterprises for $1.46-billion earlier this year.

Ottaway Newspapers Inc president and chief operating officer, John Wilcox, will join The American Press Institute (API) and a task force of 25 industry innovators and thought-leaders to collaborate on a major yearlong project to invent and test new business models to help newspapers thrive in the next decade.

"Newspaper Next: The Transformation Project," has the following goals: Assess the threat to newspapers in the next decade, including emerging competition; determine opportunities for newspapers, including implementation of available new technology; suggest executable new business initiatives — products, services and strategies — with detailed rationales; provide implementation guides for these business plans.

API is investing $2 million into the project. Final task force recommendations are expected in late 2006 and will be tested in an operating daily newspaper beginning in late 2006 or early 2007.


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