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On Newspapers and Google: What's the Real Problem Here? What Do Readers Want?

Apr 11, 2009, 12:01 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

"There are trust issues too, but they tie into the main problem I see, which is that news content has never been what primarily funded newspapers, and it *should* never be. It was the ads and the listings that funded print newspapers, and they flew the coop and landed on Craigslist. That loss of a revenue stream is the principal problem, and newspapers have to find some replacement. Charging for news articles or even ads on news articles won't do it online any more than it did in print. They have to offer something people want, something they'll pay for, something that will be as remunerative as the listings that went to Craigslist were.

"They have to sell something besides news that people will pay for that will fund the journalism. There. I said it.

"Why did the classified ads go to Craigslist? Because new technology showed up, and you can't win with an old mousetrap once a better mousetrap shows up. Is there any reason newspapers couldn't have provided what Craigslist did? Other than thinking of it, I mean? They could have done Google too, for that matter. And now they're mad because others thought of things they could have thought of but didn't, because they didn't know how."

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