The final daily print edition of the venerable Christian Science Monitor hit the stands four days ago. They haven't abandoned traditionalists entirely -- there's still a weekly edition.
A little item rarely mentioned in this context (and one I would not have known if an old friend had not ended up in the job) is that the purchase of newsprint is the largest single item in most newspaper's budgets. It is somewhat speculative; buying the right amount at the right price at the right time -- or failing to -- can make the difference between profit or loss for a newspaper. Some guy or gal you've never heard of, who does not own, publish, edit, report, sell ad space or lay out pages can make or break the Local Whizbang Daily. And maybe that is a little whack.
--The flip side is, a print article is well-nigh impossible to alter once it's hit the streets, while on the Web, "Make it didn't happen," is altogether too easy. There are ways around -- Google's caches, if you're fast, sites like Wayback Machine if you're not -- but none of them are as accessable or as solid as last week's paper.
Time marches on, often in ways few saw coming. What's over the horizon?
Update: More and better on Why The Newspapers Died from print journalism insider Joanna.
6 months ago