5/05/2009

Newspapers: No Bailout Money


White House press secretary Robert Gibbs stated yesterday [article link] that there would be no bailout to many of the ailing major newspapers. Gibbs stated it would a "bit of a tricky area to get into." Funny...I don't recall any worries about getting so heavily involved in the Big Three automakers bailout. Like the newspapers, the Big Three are suffering from new technology that makes American made cars virtually worthless these days. Anyway, the Boston Globe, for example, is not expected to last the month of May. That bastion of liberalism, the New York Times, had to get a "bailout" from a multi-billionaire. They are still making cuts to their news staff.

With the advent of the internet taking over such a big facet of our everyday lives, it is little wonder the newspaper business is going the way of the dinosaur. Here you can get your news instantly or within a couple of minutes. Newspapers had to deal with radio and TV for many years insofar as instant news. But, once the internet took off in the mid-ninties, that was the death knell for the newspaper industry. Who wants to read about news that is already a day old? In fact, I can get news, weather and sports (the big staple of newspapers) right from my cell phone. Having said all this, I still get my daily newspaper. Mostly for nostalgic reasons, I suppose. I believe the small town newspapers, such as the one here in Mobile, AL, aren't going to go away any time soon due to a mostly urban area it covers, I believe. The New York Times, USA Today and other national newspapers just aren't going to survive with their present overhead. And maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe the NYT will stick to what they were supposed to do; report the news and not make the news.

I imagine someday something else will make the internet and maybe even cell phones useless. I doubt I will live to see that day. But, it's all about the ever changing face of today's technology. You have to adapt or you go out of business. Newspapers are in their last throes of being a viable business. Who is next? I suspect the U.S. Postal Service is next on the chopping block...some day.

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