Digital newspaper vs the broadsheet

Author John Birmingham poses the question:

Can blogs replace some of the reportage and analysis done by the old metropolitan media? Of course they can. If you can choose which of the hundreds of millions of blogs currently available to follow.

Will the world stop turning, will the skies rain down fiery poison toads on us all if old-school newspapers just go away? No, probably not.

But something will be lost. After all, it wasn’t a blogger who broke the story of Craig Thomson and problems within the Health Services Union (although some bloggers are now pursuing it; I’d provide links except for the potential defamation costs at the other end of the click-through). It was a couple of Sydney Morning Herald journalists working the phones, wearing down shoe leather, chasing a story that powerful interests wanted to keep quiet.

The internet killed the newspaper. Fact. The only road ahead is for newspaper publishers (such as Fairfax and News Limited) to ask on-line readers to pay for high quality content. Up to a quarter of the journalists in a metropolitan newsroom will be sacked under the Fairfax newspapers restructure announced on Monday. Potentially 380 editorial jobs may disappear according to the ABC.

It is clear on-line readers can no longer expect high-quality content without incurring a cost. Major newspapers including The Australian and the Australian Financial Review have already turned to this model. Newspapers should not be scared of this model. John illustrates this best when he says:

…Media has always been hidden behind a paywall. Don’t think so? Try walking down to your nearest newsagent, picking up a paper or a magazine, and walking out without paying. See what happens.

One Response to Digital newspaper vs the broadsheet

  1. dbrmuz says:

    Whilst I agree with the point that the internet killed off the age-old business model that newspapers have used since year dot,I don’t believe Fairfax have hit upon the right solution to save themselves from oblivion.

    They promised changes four or five years ago to the size of their broadsheets,yet never carried them through.

    Fairfax will continue to wither and slowly die-or quickly die,if Gina gets her hands all over the editorial content.

    Survival of the fittest,and all that.

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