Who really cares about newspapers?

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.Seriously.So the Rocky Mountain News, Denver’s daily paper recently shut down. There has been a minor media storm recently around the idea of some large, stoic newspapers hitting financial hard times. It seems like it is only a matter of time before the SF Chronicle, the NYTimes or the Chicago Tribune is holding it’s hand out for a bail out, hoping not to meet the fate of the Rocky Mountain News. A billion here, a billion there, why not save them. It’s like super-sizing for a quarter.But come on, news papers? First, lets start with model – delivering news to your door step several hours after it happens. It isn’t news by that point any longer, it’s olds. When the plane crashed in the Hudson, Twitter & Flickr were the news, not the SF Chronicle. By the next morning, when the paper came out, everything to be known about the crash was already known. It wasn’t like they were breaking some major story.Second, how many tons of paper or thrown into landfills each day. I’d love to see the study on this, but let’s say that the Chronicle prints 1 million papers a day at a pound a piece (maybe a bit more on Sunday). You can do the math, but if you extrapolate that same number through the 50 largest cities in the US alone, you get pretty close to 1 billion pounds of paper being thrown away each month. That is a lot of dead trees and a lot of waste.Journalism isn’t dead. In fact, I’d say that by looking at the Technorati numbers, that journalism is in more demand than ever. I don’t believe that print media is even close to dead. But the idea of delivering daily content, in a manner that is wasteful and dated is just plain stupid business.Businesses come and businesses go. It is the beautiful part of capitalism. Got a great idea? Is there a market demand? Know how to execute on it? You might have a successful business. But if there is no demand (daily newspapers) or you can’t execute (US automotive industry) then your business should go away. Don’t bemoan the fact, simply adjust and thrive.And yes, I will miss spending Sunday’s doing the NY Times cross word puzzle with my wife, but I suspect someone will build a social crossword puzzle that we can do together by that point.

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