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397 comments

Internet Killed Frankenstein tonight (-1, Offtopic)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920385)

Frankenstein's fan motor died around 1830 MST tonight on the halloween webcam [komar.org] and Frankenstein will no longer inflate ... my guess is that the duty-cycle wasn't rated for thousands of off/on's. The 7,000+ lights are still controllable (X10 super sockets are buzzing though) and trick-or-treaters are waving to the webcam ... but 'ol Frank is R.I.P.

I suspect this will be modded down into oblivion, but I wanted to pay my respects to Frankenstein on Slashdot.

Re:Internet Killed Frankenstein tonight (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920413)

I just read that video killed the radio star.

Has anyone else heard that?

OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920436)

Slashdot has broken free from the MATRIX!!! The Slashdot effect will destroy us all!

Probably clogged up with faeces. (-1, Redundant)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920453)

Have you checked the fan motor for faeces? Kids are known to throw their shit in all sorts of places on Halloween, including the camshafts of inflatable Frankenstein motors.

Newspaper is getting too wide anyhow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920386)

I like how we can adblock ads on the internet, but something like that will never happen with the paper - and we pay for it as well.

Re:Newspaper is getting too wide anyhow (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920561)

It is very easy to do ad blocking in a newspaper - just don't open the classified section.

it's "old" by the time you read it (5, Insightful)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920670)

I think one of the reasons for the downfall of the newspaper, is that for the "daily" morning paper to make it to your door by the time you get up in the morning, it has to be put to bed by midnight, so it can be delivered to the areas. If the "breaking news" or headlines are different by say 7am, the internet will have up to date "news", making the print version obsolete.

wow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920390)

second fuckin post

What do you expect? (5, Interesting)

rscoggin (845029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920392)

Does it really matter? Most newspapers offer much (if not all) of their content online. All that matters is ad revenue, and they can even get around the cost of printing and distribution if they publish to the web. I see a transition, not a death.

Re:What do you expect? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920578)

Printed media is a needless waste of resources. How much paper do we waste every day on newspapers? How many tons?

Re:What do you expect? (1)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920677)

I wish it were a transition. These guys are dying. The reason is simple, they will not server their customers. They continue to publish crappy articles usually against any decent enterprise and as such lose their readers daily. More and more they have become ads only. I can search ads without these turkeys.

The real question is... (4, Insightful)

Enzo the Baker (822444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920393)

does this result in people being more or less informed? Or are people fooling themselves if they believe that they are well informed by either source?

Re:The real question is... (3, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920437)

I'd say people end up being far more informed. Major newspapers will never present worthwhile news, because it is too costly for them. They most likely will not report on the misdeeds of major advertisers. Likewise, in America especially, if they question the administration they'll immediately lose their press access. Thus all they can do is put out bullshit, and hope that people continue to buy their papers. But it looks like people are catching on, and thus people aren't buying their papers.

Then again, many news websites are not as tied up. They can offer viewpoints that the major papers could never think of presenting. Even if their news is incorrect, it still may provoke thought in its readers, perhaps enough for them to investigate other news sources, and hence to make up their own mind based on the information they can obtain.

Re:The real question is... (5, Insightful)

letchhausen (95030) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920599)

On the one hand I think that the idea that bad information can have good results is pretty rose-tinted to say the least. On the other hand the internet has consolidated access to alternative media which is a good thing and can lead to a more informed populace. Of course the internet is full of the same slanted and opinionated crap that you see everywhere else so it can lead to an utterly mis-informed populace. And your statements about the mainstream media are pretty spot on, of course since I would tend to read those online I don't really see a difference there in medium. Same lies different venue. In the end one can get the inside scoop from either Rush Limbaugh's blog or Al Franken's depending on the already formed predilections. Or better yet, CowboyNeal's.......

Newspaper != news paper (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920537)

Traditionally, the newspapers were there to deliver news. Now by the time people read stuff in the papaers they have already been exposed to TV, radio and cnn.com. Therefor newspapers look more and more to providing alternative commentary. Essentially they're getting more and more like weekly womens' magazines but targeted towards a wider audience.

Already TV news is less about news and more about entertainment. The paper is getting more like that too. There are so many media channels etc competing for peoples free time (== entertainment time) that the news has to be entertaining and gripping rather than factual.

Immediate Access (5, Insightful)

dduardo (592868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920394)

Why would I pay for yesterday's news? The internet and televsion are giving me immediate access to news which makes newspapers somewhat obsolete.

Re:Immediate Access (1)

halowolf (692775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920415)

It's why I don't buy magazines anymore. I find that they just cannot stay relevant because internet sources of the same information are immediately available. I might browse the odd one if i'm bored but that is about it.

Re:Immediate Access (4, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920649)

Still, I do enjoy sitting on the back porch in the morning with a newspaper in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. The Internet is way too heavy to read on the back porch.

I still pay for the paper. (5, Insightful)

rtphokie (518490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920399)

Yet I read a lot more of them. I dont think I'm in the minority either. The local paper is the only way I get local news anymore. The local TV news is so inane I cant take it.

Re:I still pay for the paper. (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920483)

agreed

also, i find that with most suburban / rural areas, local news just isn't available online.
and with the larger cities, it's only the front page stuff that really makes it on the net, not the really good stuff (like garage sales!)

Sure it's the Interenet? (5, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920401)

Maybe it's simply apathy for the news? I'm constantly amazed at how clueless people are towards the current events of the day. If the internet is to blame, surely SOME people would know of events going on?

Re:Sure it's the Interenet? (2, Interesting)

devnull_2 (876635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920516)

Maybe the biased & sensationalistic news organizations cause peoples apathy toward them. I'm sure rampant product placement within news stories isn't far off..

Re:Sure it's the Interenet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920690)

What do you mean? The other day while drinking a refreshing can of Coca-Cola, I was thinking: Wouldn't it be fun to read the newspaper under my new PureLight(tm) light fixture? So then I got on my new Dell computer (preloaded with Windows XP AND a nice nVidia card) and to check out if anyone else had the same idea as me!

And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920403)

The refridgerator has reportedly killed off the milkman.

Stay tuned

Making Excuses (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920406)

Oh please, the Internet has been commercialized and affordable for a decade. The newspapers are killing themselves. The depth of the reporting is horrid. Not that the majority of continuous cycle news channels and websites are much better, but they're more immediate and therefore, accessible.

Re:Making Excuses (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920618)

Ah, but it's still relevantly recently that Joe Sixpack actually feels comfortable using the internet. But yes, now the newspapers are going to be put under pressure to actually deliver the depth of reporting and excellence that they claim the Internet lacks and they are able to deliver, due to the professionalism and ethics of their reporters (cough). This is All Good, Baby.

Who cares? (2, Insightful)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920409)

The only people who read newspapers regularly are those who have made a habit out of it their entire life. I still catch the paper once in a while if it looks like they might have an interesting article. But for all your current news, the newspaper is a day late and $0.50 too expensive. Why pay for info that I can get from my computer for free? Unless it is very locally specific news.

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

jangobongo (812593) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920640)

I live in the Phoenix area which is served by the Arizona Republic. Their excellent online version [azcentral.com] carries all the same stories that the print one does.

I just set my Yahoo RSS reader to list their news, business, community, and offbeat sections and it gives me the top ten stories for each main section of the paper (at least, the ones that I'm interested in). I can scan the headlines and brief intro to see if I would like to read more in depth and I find much more relevant local news that way. I never waste my time on television news unless there is some national breaking news story being covered by the news channels.

If there is breaking local news, the RSS is updated, and I usually read about it long before it makes it to the print version. We get the paper every day, but it's a complete waste for me because I get much more news from the online version.

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920664)

Why pay for info that I can get from my computer for free?

Simple. Because you can read it while you're waiting for or sitting on the bus. I wouldn't be suprised to discover public transit to be the number one motivation behind newspaper sales.

Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (5, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920411)

Truly, it is the newspapers who are killing themselves. Why is that? Because the quality of the reporting has dropped off substantially.

Take the New York Times. Between that Blair guy and now Miller, they've been shown to be nothing but a hack paper. Any newspaper that did not immediately point out the numerous lies of so many British and American politicians with regards to the ongoing war in Iraq falls into the same boat.

Intelligent people aren't going to pay money for ads and bullshit stories. And it's intelligent people who tend to read newspapers.

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920488)

Intelligent people aren't going to pay money for ads and bullshit stories. And it's intelligent people who tend to read newspapers.
Really? A typical story is probably written at a reading level to accomodate a 10 year old. The intelligent people forego the shallow drivel of the syndicated press and get the information as close to the source as possible. Which would you rather read, the science and tech section of your local rag, or the links directly to the trade publications and institutions that you find in a /. posting?

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920523)

Most people don't have the time nor the resources to subscribe to multiple scientific/specialty journals, nor do they have time to attend parliament on a daily basis, or even to read the parliamentary transcripts.

That said, that's no excuse for newspapers to report blatantly false information. Going back to the example of the Iraqi invasion, every newspaper of any credibility should have torn Powell's UN presentation to pieces. It has nothing to do with politics. It just has to do with the fact that they're there to report fact, and thus the correct thing for them to do when presented with lies is to point out those lies for what they are.

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920521)

"Intelligent people aren't going to pay money for ads and bullshit stories. And it's intelligent people who tend to read newspapers."

Wow, another /. stereotype that's wrong, go figure. Either you have a different definition of intelligent or you simply don't know that newspapers are by and large written for a 5th-6th grade reading and comperhension level.

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (0, Flamebait)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920548)

It's widely known that they're written at that level. But you have to consider who reads them. You rarely see children reading newspapers. You probably won't see a McDonald's employee reading a paper, nor will you see a construction worker or a clothing salesperson. You see business executives, university-level students, researchers and other people with a higher level of intelligence reading such material, even if it is written at a sixth grade level.

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (2, Insightful)

shanen (462549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920522)

Hear, hear, and a insightful mod to that post.

However, the lousy quality of the reporting isn't the only thing that's killing the newspapers. I think that they are in a death trap of reader selectivity. Since most people only believe what they want to believe, do you really expect them to pay to read other stuff, too? From that perspective, it's only natural for the Internet to slaughter the newspapers. Not just because the Web is faster and cheaper, but because search engines make it easy to find the stuff that agrees with what you want to believe. No cognitive dissonance there!

To give you a convenient concrete example, if you dislike Bush, just do a news search for "Dubya", and you're pretty sure to see plenty of disrespect. All you need is to learn the appropriate buzzwords for what you want to see, and voila, that's what you see.

Actually, I like to sample several of the extreme positions, because the truth is most often somewhere in the middle. However, that's another strike against newspapers, in my opinion, since most of them are pretty uniform. An enormous part of the content comes straight off the wire, and the rest of it tends to be whatever the publisher likes.

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper (1)

harisund (881643) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920542)

Maybe they should conduct a poll how many slashdotters read newspapers? Not all readers get a chance to voice their opinions on newspapers. In on online version, people can post their views (Slashdot itself being a prime example) and can engage in lively arguments too.. the kind of interactivity that you don't find in paper.. Another interesting factor is the concept of archives.. a news article in a paper might have "In the story that we ran on 18th.." Even if I had read the article on that the news is referring to, there is nothing like having a hyperlink to that article that quickly allows me to scan the contents and return to what I was reading (again, how many times have we seen news on Slashdot referring to an older news on Slashdot itself?) Traditionally, newspapers have been associated with a cup of coffee on early mornings, rocking chairs and the like (if you can get my picture)... in today's fast paced hectic world, there is hardly a time to relax.. Still.. I don't quite think e-newspaper will completely phase out the print edition. The feel of paper on my hands can not be replicated by a tablet.. definitely not

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper (4, Interesting)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920683)

"In the story that we ran on 18th.."

On the flip side, a major disadvantage of the web is mutability. How do I know that link to the story on the 18th is actually the same text that ran on the 18th? Heck, how do I know that you and I are reading the same article today?

For an interesting, behind the scenes look at things, one company I worked for had a news site, and part of the content came from Reuters. Part of the tagging in the news stream indicated "updated" versions of the same articles, that you were REQUIRED to replace.

If you pay attention to breaking stories on Yahoo, you can see the articles morph and change during the day...

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (2, Interesting)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920584)

So where do you get your news, Indymedia? Please.

If it's a balanced and comprehensive understanding of current issues you want, it's a mistake to rely on any one source of news, any one perspective--if only because people will attack you for your choice. For the record, I'll spend my time flipping between the NY Times, the Economist, Salon, the Village Voice, the NY Observer, NewsMax, CNN, and Fox News, and I find that's a salad that works for me. But no matter what you're reading, approach your sources critically and you'll probably do much better at understanding what's important to you.

Re:Newspaper is killing the newspaper. (2, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920692)

I get all my news from a mix of Slashdot, Fark, and a selection of blogs written by 19 year old college coeds. Can't say I'm all that well informed, exactly, but the webcams keep me happy.

You are right for the wrong reasons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920696)

Frankly since no newspaper is willing to report any good news from Iraq, and only dwell on one side of things - no wonder people are leaving the papers in droves. Not because of the things you were saying (which are ironically just echos of the MSM Iraq Thought of the Moment) but because people want full bodied noews, not just shrill harpys going on about hating this or hating that. In every story of substance the newspapers carefully look the other way as they echo the refrain across the land. What happened to original thinking or real investigative journalism?

Efficiency (4, Insightful)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920421)

The world gravitates toward efficiency. Instant delivery, little cost, up-to-date. How can newspapers compete?

Yellow pages are dying horrible deaths too, and I'm loving every minute of it. Just look at how these online yellow pages are trying to force ads and sponsored listings on the first page, making it ridiculously difficult to get local results you really want. Then look at how quickly you can find something via a search engine.

Re:Efficiency (5, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920460)

Instant delivery, little cost, up-to-date. How can newspapers compete?

Investigative reporting. That's still where the newspaper outpaces all other forms of news.

The hardcopy might go away, but newspapers have their own websites.

Re:Efficiency (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920493)


Investigative reporting. That's still where the newspaper outpaces all other forms of news.

The hardcopy might go away, but newspapers have their own websites.


You mean getting second hand information, publishing it as the truth and publishing a very small retraction when your severely wrong?

Re:Efficiency (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920495)

Investigative reporting. That's still where the newspaper outpaces all other forms of news.

Except that they don't do that now, and probably won't in the future. Doing so to a professional degree would certainly cause severe annoyance to various advertisers and politicians. Soon enough ad space isn't bought, and press credentials are revoked. Then they're really fucked.

Re:Efficiency (2, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920668)

Except that they don't do that now, and probably won't in the future.

While there certainly is less and less investigative reporting (much to my dismay, reporting current events is something for the AP wire), it does still exist.

I can think of two recent examples from my local paper alone. One is how DHS lied about how many people die crossing the border and how their numbers don't match up with the actual recorded deaths. Congress actually ended up using the newspaper's database to show how DHS was playing fast and loose with the numbers.

The other one is a report on how inaccurate the local gas pumps are. They claim they output a gallon but they really shortchange you. There was even a nice little map that showed which stations were the worst and by how much.

Bloggers are fairly lazy. They won't hound their local city government for raw data... if it's not on google, then it doesn't exist.

Efficiency-Adblock. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920514)

"The world gravitates toward efficiency. Instant delivery, little cost, up-to-date. How can newspapers compete?"

The NYTs certainly tries, and look at how we treat them. We DON"T want newspapers to succeed. No matter what. Free is our mantra, and we will slay anyone living in a capitalists world.

"Yellow pages are dying horrible deaths too, and I'm loving every minute of it. Just look at how these online yellow pages are trying to force ads and sponsored listings on the first page, making it ridiculously difficult to get local results you really want. Then look at how quickly you can find something via a search engine."

I've also found both inaccuracies, as well as numbers that never will show up. Besides yellow pages aren't as "dying" as you think (*looks over at the FREE yellow pages delivered last week*). Plus not everyone wants or has internet access, as well as all the advantages print has over reading off a screen. e.g. power failure, and yes phones do still work during such an event.

My dad used to read the paper every day (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920426)

Now he reads several papers a day. It's a lot easier and faster to scan the paper for articles you're interested in on a website than flipping through a few papers. And the ads on the website can be just as effective as the ones in the paper if done right.

Re:My dad used to read the paper every day (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920466)

Several papers a day? That seems a bit... well... wasteful. Things like having to read more than one paper is why people turn to things like the internet. The internet is where people can express their opinions as well as read others instead of just depending on journalists opinions, and that's a powerful thing.

Re:My dad used to read the paper every day (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920577)

Sorry if it was too subtle, but that was the whole point of my comment. He USED to read a paper a day, now he reads SEVERAL papers a day. I'll be more blunt:

He checked the websites of the newspaper instead of purchasing the paper, reading the paper, and dealing with the mountain of paper he would accumulate each week.

Reading in real world ... (2, Funny)

calvin1981 (922478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920442)

... sucks. What sort of reading is it if I cant even grep.

Re:Reading in real world ... (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920492)

Agreed.

I download ebook versions of the books I own whenever I stumble accross them or think to do a search on Emule or what have you, just so I can do searches in them when I want.

Giveaways (2, Interesting)

tooth (111958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920443)

This is why the major papers in .au always give away "free" stuff with their weekend papers. The latest trend is Music CDs.

Re:Giveaways (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920688)

The latest trend is Music CDs.

Mark Shuttleworth really should have a talk with the advertising department of The Age...

The two aren't mutually exclusive (4, Interesting)

Audent (35893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920448)

Here at Computerworld New Zealand we have both a paper edition (weekly) and a daily online service http://www.computerworld.co.nz/ [computerworld.co.nz] and I like to think they serve different readers in different ways.

Take a breaking news story (HP buys Compaq is my favourite example). We ran a BREAKING NEWS thing on the site immediately. We ran a follow-up story later that day with industry reaction (such as it was) also online. The next morning we had the customer comments/expectations story online, while most daily newspapers here were only just running the equivalent of our first story.

By the time our weekly print edition came out we had a full round-up of comment locally plus international expectations etc for a more rounded view.

That's the best approach I feel. Break news online (with attendant email alerts, SMS alerts or whatever you've got going) with more detailed relfective stuff in print.

This isn't new - print had to cope with radio beating it to news and TV (film at eleven!) doing what we couldn't do. What print does well is take a step back and offer a critical analytical assessment. In depth stuff. Well, that's what print SHOULD do well.

The two aren't mutually exclusive - print and online can co-exist quite nicely thank you. You add immediacy to your print edition with online. You add depth to your online edition through print. Different readers are served in different ways.

If newspapers were worth reading... (1)

Anthrem (182365) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920455)

...then they wouldn't go down in circulation. After all, I go to the internet when I want to know, right now, what is happening in the world. However, I still like to read the newspaper when there is thoughtful and well written investigation of the facts of the world. As well, the newspaper is what I count on for local information and politics. The difficult part is that my hometown newpaper, The Journal Star [pjstar.com] can be read in about 5 minutes, and there is little to nothing of value in the paper about local events and information regarding the world close to me. Lots of ads, but little or nothing like what people remember newspapers to be. The trend here I think will continue; the information highway is broad and fast, but not very deep. I feel like information is pretty useless at times, if those who report it do not try to contexualize it to the world around us. This is what is missing from newspapers.

internet is the new newspaper (1)

uncreativ (793402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920457)

Seriously, why bother with the paper anyway? Electronic is quicker, easier, and less expensive to produce and distribute.

Re:internet is the new newspaper (1)

bljohnson0 (114084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920686)

Why bother? Why bother!!!?? I have moving to do damnit, and I need those papers to pack my breakables!

Three uses (2, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920461)

1. Look smart in airport

2. Cover head in rain

3. It's better than nothing when you run out of TP.

**stop cutting down trees for what ammounts to voyeurism and blatant stupidity!***

Tom

If it kills the NYT... (1, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920462)

If it kills the New York Times, then it's a good thing. They've been too full of themselves for far too long and I wouldn't miss them at all.

[/opinion]

Mis-leading headline (-1, Offtopic)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920464)

It should read that 2005 has risen as the Year of the highest occurence of free-speach since the Alien and Sedition Act applied to Benjamin Franklins' nephew and his printing press.

2006 should be even better, wrestling more first-hand journalism to audiences inexpensively; give or take more bias unethically asserted to the the Left and Right political paradigms instituted by government to split the people (just as George Washington predicted).

[wouldn't have known this without some speech slipping through the cracks].

God bless America (the first nation). God bless the united states of America (the people confederated). God bless the united States of America (the second-class confederacy). God bless the United States (the second nation).

And thank your nearby alien feudal society, citizens of Congress, for keeping their courts-martial out of the Courts by Titles Of Nobility Act.

From Your friendly network redundancy administrator.

What, no Halloween memo? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920465)

Time is running out, ESR!

Terminals in Stalls (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920473)

Once they get web-enabled terminals in bathroom stalls (it will happen!), then there will be another big drop in newspaper subscriptions.

I read the paper regularly (no pun intended), but only because I'm something of a captive audience, and the paper is just right there...

Just like downloads are hurting musicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920485)

Online media are not necessarily responsible for killing print media. Something is taking the time that people used to spend reading the paper. You could make the point that unpaid overtime is responsible for killing the print media just as much as online media are. It is going to be just as hard to prove as it is to prove that downloads are or are not hurting the music industry.

Even if print advertising goes to zero, it doesn't mean that advertisers will spend their money on the internet. How does the local flower seller advertise to me? Well, he could place an ad on Groklaw. That's not likely to happen but I spend more time reading Groklaw as I do the local rag.

The bottom line is that the rules of the game are changing and nobody has figured out what they are yet. The situation is much the same as that of software companies who are confronted by open source. How the heck do you make money in an open source environment?

From a newspaper loyalist (1)

bananahammock (595781) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920496)

To me, after downing that mug of coffee in the morning, ya still can't beat dropping a couple of kids off at the pool with a good ol' newspaper. A laptop just doesn't quite cut it.

Needs more cowbell... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920505)

A more creative title might have been, "Internet killed the Daily Star".

"Growth" is flat, so try innovating (4, Insightful)

jbarr (2233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920507)

OK, I'm certainly no economist, but so what? The article says that the growth is flat. Companies and industries that expect constant growth are kidding themselves. There are bound to be flat and negative growth periods in all industries. Maybe it's time that they start looking for better innovation like, oh, I don't know, real reporting instead of the biased, sensationalistic, editorial spin that has crept in over the last couple decades. It used to be that news was reported, not opinionated and editorialized at every chance. I would take printed news (or any news for that matter) a lot more seriously if it gave the facts instead of trying to sway me.

The death is greatly exaggerated, it's a rebirth (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920695)

Indeed, the death is greatly exaggerated. "Worst year ever" for flat growth? That's nuts, what a greedy bunch. No wonder many online newspapers are so stuffed with useless adverts. I've got news for them, don't do it because I've got my choices across the globe for news.

My first thought was, where's the money going? If the paper revenue is shrinking, the online advertisement market should pick up, within margins of waste reduction. The eyeballs and wallets behind them should be worth the same amount of money regardless of advertisement delivery. Google, is showing the way to make the money spent work better.

There's lots of good news in the numbers and it looks like publishing is going back to what it used to be. Local revenue is up and online advertising is up. This means local papers are able to exercise more control and that reflects the initial promise of the web - to allow a broader voicing of diverse opinion. The concentrated power of a few big papers and broadcasters of the last century was unhealthy. New providers, both national and local, are taking their place. I imagine they are underestimating online advertising revenue. A friend of mine runs a forum and nets $600/month off Google ads doing it. I use it to get local news of interest to me, would Goldman Sachs consider that news and count it? They should.

Newspaper have to evolve (1)

r2q2 (50527) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920510)

Newspapers have to evolve into part newspaper part website to stay current. Also they need content like blogs or other parts for them to be attractive to people who view news.

Is the newspaper still a practical business model? (2, Interesting)

greyjoy (912923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920519)

As they are, newspapers rely on two sources of revenue: direct sale and advertising sponsorship. With the advent of the Internet, information is free -- and newspapers, in order to remain relevant, must offer their articles for the same price or risk the certainty of readers going to a free competitor.

Unfortunately, doing so completely wipes out their subscription base. And I doubt advertising alone will be enough to sustain high-end staffs such as (despite an earlier criticism of the paper in this feedback) those on The New York Times. It'll be interesting to see if, or when, major papers shut down because they lose too much money investigating stories -- or if, more likely, they simply downgrade to the usual nonsense of hyping a murder trial or a missing white woman. Either way, however great a revolution the Internet may be for widespread communication and education, I mourn for what seems the eventual demise of professional journalism. Does anyone want a future of Fox News-caliber media?

Still, at least in my opinion, the good that is free and instant and widespread information weighs out the evil of such losses.

Old and busted ... new hotness (1)

Stevarino (607540) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920531)

Newspapers...online news
Magazines...online entertainment
Terrestrial radio...satellite radio
Yellow pages...search engines
Film...digital
Paper maps...internet mapping/gps

Hopefully:

Ballot voting...internet voting
SSN/passport...world digital ID
Bills and coins...money card

2 Types of 'News' (1)

gr84b8 (235328) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920541)

I personally am heavily reliant on the instant rss feeds of news to keep a tab on what's going on, which is certainly a critical part of my news reading.

However, I also rely on the top traditional newspapers for well written, thoughtful commentary on the news (even if it is "yesterday's news". The AP (et. al.) reports are informative, but generally are whipped together and provide little to no actual content. Beyond headline surfing I love to sit down and read a well written news story that was carefully crafted and researched so I can consider myself truly informed.

Fish and chips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920544)

You can't wrap your fish and chips in the Internet.

It's a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920553)

Yeah, the internet is killing the newspaper, and I say "good riddance". Online news is updated more frequently, and usually contains more information (thanks to the ability to link to resources external to the article itself). The only use for an actual newspaper I have these days is keeping up to date with local events occurring within my city. Once those smaller publications begin to deliver their news online, I'll be able to do away with printed paper altogether. This is a very, very good thing. The newspaper served a great purpose for years, and now it's obsolete. Let's move on.

is it really the internet (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920558)

or are cable tv news and radio the real culprit? both of those are growing. Via cable tv I get news from around the globe, very different view than U.S. media. Radio is still hot after all these years because we still drive & any media more involved would likely make us crash.

So just what in the heck... (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920560)

... are we supposed to put in our bird cages? Huh? HUH!?

See, nobody thinks of these things before they haul off and invent something like teh interweb.

What are we supposed to do with all this bird poop?

Oh, wait - there's plenty of blogs to fill. Never mind.

Ad revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920562)

The ad revenue can be much higher looking at the traffic on some of the news sites. Too bad their pricing is so expensive, lots of household brands can't afford it.

What about exclusive online news? (1)

useruser (638080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920585)

5% of newspaper revenues? Presumably that only counts online newspapers that have corresponding print media. What about online news sources that are exclusively online such as Slate [slate.com] and Salon [salon.com]? Salon has been getting my money for years instead of my local Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Interesting that classified is UP in newspapers (2, Interesting)

CatOne (655161) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920610)

I would think stuff like Craig's List would slaughter it. So much more dynamic, so much easier to get the word out (and very effectively in large markets like the SF Bay Area -- not sure how good it is elsewhere)... and FREE.

There are times I think a newspaper is great -- on a train, on an airplane, or when I want to sit outside in the sun with a cup of coffee. So for relaxing news delivery. But most of the time, web sites (or, even better, RSS feeds) are just so much more timely. And with RSS, I can get the headlines from a few sources, so when one site cock-blocks me by invalidating my BugMeNot login (cough, FY NYT!), I can read the article elsewhere, or just be content with the title.

So many reasons for this (1)

clark625 (308380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920612)

I've never been one to read the newspaper regularly anyway; however, if I had nothing to do and a paper was around, I would happily read it since I find that reading anything is better than TV, twiddling thumbs, or sitting quietly with a dumb look on my face. Yes, the news is old (so it's not news, exactly), but it's supposed to go more in-depth than TV news can. Friends and family tell me that newspaper reporters have gotten bland, and at times liberal opinion makes it into stories that are supposed to report news, not editorials. Okay, fine.

I do buy the paper now, though, on Sunday. That's it. I read the cartoons, do the crossword, and flip through the advertisements for my favorite stores. My wife clips out the coupons, and reads the cartoons once I'm done with them.

The rest of the 10 lb. brick I receive? Recycled immediately. Every time I actually pick it up and start to read, I find articles that honestly aren't all that exciting beyond what I either all ready know, or I just flat out don't care about some lady's new cookie store. Sorry. That's the breaks. And I pay to recycle all that wasted paper. *sigh*

Dead Tree Edition (4, Interesting)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920645)

Newspapers can still be around, they just need to evolve. They've got the reporters and researchers, so they're in a good position for reporting detailed stories with more depth than TV can do in a 30 second blurb. Seeing a story in the conext of previous weeks or months of background articles is also easier with text than dozens of clips of newspeople reading short snippets on-air.

It's the dead tree versions that don't make as much sense. Lots of people don't want yesterday's news. But no reason that a well written newspaper can't write a web version just as well.

And the thick Sunday version with the sale ads and magazines are still popular. So they don't need to retire the presses. But basing your entire business model around delivering paper to porches, yeah, that'd dead.

It's not about the news (1)

oboreruhito (925965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920650)

Many people who read newspapers don't read it for the news. They read it for classifieds and advertisements - when and where the sales are, what's on sale, what to get and what it looks like. Most of the rest read it for the crossword puzzle, the Jumble, that Japanese numbers game and comics.

For the Internet-connected middle-class, those functions of a newspaper are obsolete. eBay and craigslist are killing classifieds; online shopping is hurting retailers and makes print ads (which, in turn, hurts newspaper ads); and online games, webcomics and portable electronic games are slowly squeezing out newspaper games.

Those people probably don't give a damn about the news, except for what they watch on Fox/CNN while eating dinner, and what's in the newspaper was covered yesterday anyway.

The only exception is local news, and outside of high school sports, most of it is either local government news that is boring and/or goes over their head, or fluff nobody wants to read. (High school football alone, especially in the South, keeps some papers afloat.) The newspapers that succeed today - and there are several - have excellent local news reporting on topics that people care about, because local TV outlets are complete pushovers when it comes to in-depth reporting.

And then they turn around and post that content for free on the Web, where ads pay less, or they charge to access it, alienating their subscribers. Sucks to be print media.

Newspapers need to innovate or perish (1)

cove209 (681558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920660)

(Speaking of my local paper here)
Such as:

Follow up stories on crimes that were reported locally, say a year or so ago, and nothing else is ever reported on the people that were charged.

An expose of how new and used car dealers screw over their customers. (Never happen due to ad revenue of course)

Same for TV (1)

diagonalfish (724371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920663)

The same thing is happening to TV news and weather programs. I can't recall the last time I sat and watched an evening news program for any length of time, and I only rarely get weather info from television. More often than not I just glance over Google News and then at my ForecastFox [mozdev.org] bar in Firefox. That tells me all I need to know, and from enough different sources that I can easily decide what's biased and what's not.

Given that, who needs the hassle of surfing channels and listening to news anchors blather endlessly about the state of post-Katrina New Orleans? I prefer my information to be served up quickly, in a format where I don't have to wait for commercial breaks.

The Writing is on the Wall But Not In the Paper (1)

Ted Holmes (827243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920680)

The mass entertainment and news industry will soon compete with high quality virtually free grass roots alternatives from the digitally connected masses, and take its rightful place as another niche. What "mass" will be left to market to?

A woman in London during the transit bombings went to a public webcam and used her cell phone to report her observations and feelings [smartmobs.com]. She may be the first to step in front of the new mass media, by and for the masses.

I was personally awestruck by how Del.icio.us and Flickr became channels for democratized real time reporting during the London bombings. Bloglines and RSS [blogspot.com] connected everything seamlessly, essentially turning the entire universe of Blogs into one stream.

Phone cams at one end took pictures from practically everywhere during and after the attacks. Enough people posted pics to http://flickr.com/photos/tags/london [flickr.com] to extensively cover what was happening on the ground. Bloggers close to the scene provided ongoing summaries and updates.

As fresh news rushed to the Web from everywhere, http://del.icio.us/tag/london [del.icio.us] offered real-time-most-recommended links.

A couple of interesting facts: Since Bloglines includes the number of total subscribers to any feed you have subscribed to, you can tell at a glance how popular that feed is. The Flickr and del.icio.us feeds went into the hundreds from only a few subscribers within a couple of hours.

Completely spontaneous emergent mass media, by and for the masses. The digitally connected masses have leached the mass from media, now adjusting to its rightful place as simply another niche. In short, viable grass roots media has arrived.

Rehashed news among other things kills the papers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13920699)

Why pay for the news that you've read already? I used to subscribe to the NYT and while it'd be useful for on-the-go reading, most of what was covered in it I'd already read the night before. Newspapers are no longer the flash-whiz-bang breaking news sources. They're reading material for in the john or on the bus.

On top of that most people don't really want to know what's going on. Almost everybody here in Wisconsin watches the local news and reads the local papers. They find out about stuff that's consequential to them (ie, parades, weather, local government) but don't really want to concern themselves with the REAL world. For the most part people prefer ignorance.

Maybe if we had some good reporting from these larger papers people would pick up interest. But, they're competing with the entertainment side of things, so they pick the most flashy titles they can find (hell, look at how misleading half the slashdot topics' titles are). They cover the most asinine stuff to plaster their front pages with. Michael Jackson incident, Clinton affair, etc. Who the hell cares!?

Personally, I want a truthful, non-PC paper. I want a paper that will make a big fuss about things that should be noted by the people. If there's something going on that's wrong I want them to point it out, and not be afraid to criticize important people (ie, The President, etc).

Too biased, too many ads (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920700)

I get the Denver Post every morning and I read the paper. But the "news" is a single column or one and a half of each page. The rest are ads. Sometimes there are a couple of pages of ads (to offset the front pages full of news). Even the comics are mostly inane and unfunny (with a few exceptions; zits, sherman's lagoon, and a few others).

Then I read the news reading some of the interesting bits. Then I research the data on-line and see that it's just part of the story. I feel bad for the people who just read the newspaper(s) and don't get all the info or who aren't even interested in getting more data.

The funny part is that the ads that are targetted towards a male like me, are in the sports section which I don't read at all so I get all the guy info from the motorcycle forums I frequent or from the geek ones like /.

On the plus side, I do get a wider view of the news. I use that to step into the wider world and make myself check out non USAian news.

[John]
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