From pulp to sawdust
Sunday, March 27th, 2005
Another termite gnaws at the dead-tree pulpers. Michael Malone :
In any other industry, a product that lost 1 percent of market share for two decades ‘ only to then double or triple that rate of decline ‘ would be declared dead. The manufacturer would discontinue it and rush out a replacement product more in line with the desires of the marketplace. So, let’s finally come out and say: Newspapers are dead. They will never come back. By the end of this decade, the newspaper industry will suffer the same death rate ‘ 90-plus percent ‘ that every other industry experiences when run over by a technology revolution.
So why do newspapers linger on? Why do so many papers refuse to accept reality and metamorphize into real Web presences rather than merely online downloads of their print copy?
One answer is that most newspapers are unbelievably retrograde. They grew up in a world of newsprint and that’s where they intend to stay. They cannot believe an institution as venerable as the newspaper can ever go away.
They are wrong. And their publications will die first. All of them.