As ironic as it may be, newspapers are currently topping their own headlines. Well-known newspapers such as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times are not only downsizing employees, but are also cutting sections and features from their publications. While the newspaper industry appears to be dying, the news itself is actually flourishing in other forms.
What’s the reason for all this? Some blame the economy and expect the government to bail out the newspapers. U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin introduced the Newspaper Revitalization Act to Congress, which would allow newspapers to operate as non-profit organizations if they wanted to. This week, Governor Chris Gregoire of Washington State approved a tax break for newspaper printers and publishers.
Some newspapers blame Google for their struggles claiming the search engine is stealing their content. Search industry leader Danny Sullivan disagrees. He believes newspapers actually get “special treatment” from Google. There are news publications that do not appear in Google news, but so many of the complaining newspapers do. These newspapers also receive a tremendous amount of traffic from Google that many other publications would readily appreciate.
Lastly, some even say the newspapers have created their own crisis. Has the newspaper industry embraced the Internet to its full potential? Could they have approached advertising in a different way that could have produced better benefits for them? Are they monetizing their traffic in the most effective manner?