Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / September 26th, 2007

Internet Killed the Newspaper Star

Newspapers are dying, and it’s one of those slow, painful kind of deaths.  Can you believe in an age of instant information that someone comes to your house in the middle of the night and throws news from several hours ago at your front door?  And then they have the gall to charge you a quarter for it!  The nerve.

As for me, I like my news fresh and free.  Apparently I’m not alone.  An article today in Editor and Publisher (why would they be biased?) confirms the steady decline in print ad revenue and shift in focus to the online medium.  What’s worse for newspapers is the value of an online reader in terms of ad revenue is about 1% of what a print reader represents.  Sad.

Adding insult to injury, there’s also more competition than ever before with bloggers and YouTubers helping the news hungry surfer get his fill of garbage. 

What is nice about this ongoing shift is the ability to stay in touch.  For example, a recent article about our company in a local paper caught the eye of a ex-pat living in Germany.  He was just keeping up on the news in his old stomping ground, and now we may get to do business together.  Our elder statesman in the sales force, Mark, can drink his morning coffee while checking in on the Redskins in the Washington Post.  Try doing that 10 years ago.

As a Telecommunications/News major in college, I could’ve easily ended up on the ever-shrinking staff of a local newspaper rather than a growing web business.  This is kinda a good feeling to be on the “winning” side.  I feel like it’s 1985 and I chose the NFL over the USFL.  I chose to watch armageddon instead of deep impact.  I was faced with a decision, and I chose wisely, ala Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade.  Thank God!  Now my face won’t melt.