Could newspapers have a future after all?

Newspapers are

Six out of ten Google search suggestions for “newspapers are” indicate that industry death is a real possibility.  Newspaper bailouts have been proposed in congress, and the “millenial generation” is often defined in part by its lack of interest in the traditional newspaper.

I personally don’t read the paper, but I’ve got to admit I’d be a little sad to see all newspapers go — and not just because I’ll have to find something else to use on the bottom of my guinea pig’s cage.  So when I came across this post, which argues that old media doesn’t need to die (or to get help from the government), I was intrigued:

People are spending a lot of time talking about how print and TV is dead, how attention spans are shorter and that “old media” need to change in order to compete. Yes, they do need to change, but if you look at successful old media, they are going the opposite directions. Have movies become shorter and less expensive lately to compete with Youtube? Have the Harry potter and Twilight books been shrunk down to pamphlets to compete with blogs?

So what should newspapers — and old-style TV networks — do to keep up with the times?  The proposed answer here is:   Cover news more, not less…but cover it differently.  Have “an hour long interview of a head of state talking about a SINGLE issue” which doesn’t cut away after the first soundbite.  Don’t try to break the story (which will never happen anyway, now that the internet exists); let reporters take time to tell the story completely rather than first.  Provide analysis instead of just battling talking points.

Is this the sort of change old media is likely to make?  No, probably not.  But I rather think it could work.  Do you?

Cross-posted at my personal blog here.

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