Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Solution is in the Internet

As seen over the last couple of years the journalism industry has been in a state of chaos. From the depletion of staffs, declining numbers of subscribers, newspapers going bankrupt and a decline in ad revenue, which acts as the number one source of income.

Over the past 2 years the ad revenue in the media is down 23 percent. Another concerning fact is of all of the journalists working in 2001, 20 percent of them are no longer working in the business. (

The question is how is the media going to overcome this tragic downfall. The answer lies in the World Wide Web. The amount of Americans going online for their news is up 19 percent over the past two years. ( This is positive news for the industry but leaves the door wide open. It is clear that for the media industry to survive they must come up with and adopt a plan of successfully making a profit online. With more and more readers going online to obtain their news this needs to be the focus.

I think that there will always be newspaper and broadcast news whether it is local or cable. There is no doubt in my mind that these industries will survive. But I think for both of them it is important to establish profitable online content. If a method can be constructed to turn a profit off of online content, it will be the difference maker in the industry.

With the online battle waging, the news media is taking on a new beast. They are taking on a more educated younger class that is relying on the Internet for news. From news sites to social networks, the younger working generation that is the future audience for media companies is whom they are trying to attract. As a member of this generation, I can say I do rely heavily on the Internet for my news. I would have to say that if I had to pay to read the news on the sites that I currently get my news from, I probably would. If a person has a preference about their news and it is important they will pay.

The future of journalism relies on a solution to the Internet crisis. Until a resolution is drafted and adopted, the issues and struggles of media outlets will continue into the near future. Although I am not a subscriber I grew up with the paper at the breakfast table every morning and still have the experience when I am home at my parents house. There is nothing like have the paper in your hands at the breakfast table. Never will a computer be able to imitate this feeling and enjoyment in the morning.

Long live the paper and good investigative journalism, both in print and broadcast!


  1. I agree that the future is the Internet and something needs to be figured out, but I don't know if I believe charging for content is the answer.

    The generation that has grown up on the Web is both creative and resourceful. Movies, music and software are all available for free if you know where to look for it. I feel that if news organizations tried to make content available only through subscription or another type of paid-system, the content will still make it out there for free eventually. Screen grabs, copying text, pasting, audio/video capturing software are all ways in which Internet users can copy content for redistribution.

    I don't have any other suggestion on what the answer will be, but I think tech-savvy users can find a way around a pay wall to redistribute the information.

  2. I agree with you about still having newspapers and broadcast news around. Even though there is a strong push to go online, there are a number of people who depend on traditional news for their news sources. What I have to wonder though is if paying for online news will widen the gap between who's connected and who's not? Many people living in the US surprisingly are not connected to the Web. Paying for online content might do that. But as you said, we'll have to see. With as many people who still depend on traditional media, newspapers and broadcast media might not die out as quickly as we think.

  3. Long Live Newspapers....

    I agree with so many things you said here. I have to say though, I don't think charging for online content is THE answer. I think it will happen soon and that it will help, but I think the real key is figuring out how to use the Web to support the print product or vise versa. We must stop shuffling the same content from Web to print, which creates two audiences, an online readership and a print readership. Instead, we must create one large audience that uses multiple forms of media to get information from one outlet. But who the hell knows at this point??????

  4. Those numbers are definitely concerning. I agree that the internet has to be an important step in the journalism industry moving forward. What they do with it and how is anyone's guess. I actually like charging for the online content when it is a specialized product. I hope newspapers never go away, because given the choice I prefer to have the newspaper.

  5. I'm not sure if the future is in the Internet, but it is definitely one of the most definitive steps in the right direction. The numbers you brought up really served to drive that point home. Charging for content will definitell help, I think, and the benefit would outweigh whatever cost. I do think people would be turned off by the fact that they would have to pay for online content, but the necessity that they have for reading their news would eventually get them back on the sites. Either that or they would just purchase more papers. It's still money in more journalists' pockets. I know the Wall Street Journal has already begun charging for their content. I also have faith that newspapers and broadcast will always be around, newspapers because people just love the feel of a newspaper in their hands and it's a part of their daily rituals, same with T.V. news. We'll just have to see where the future of the online battle goes from here.