In explaining his decision to leave the L.A. Times, William Lobdell concisely lays out the basic reasons why so many newspapers are going south. But he gets in a good one with a recent quote from a friend: “Bro, face it — you guys are the 8-track cassette of news.”
“The business model for newspapers is broken,” Lobdell writes, “and no one has figured out how to fix it, probably because it can’t be fixed. The smaller the newspaper, the longer its life span in print (four exceptions: the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post and USA Today). Technology has run laps around the print media — giving readers instant news, open-source journalism, no barriers to become publishers, and an infinite news hole.
“The idea that your daily news is collected, written, edited, paginated, printed on dead trees, put in a series of trucks and cars and delivered on your driveway — at least 12 hours stale — is anachronistic in 2008.” Yup, that point has certainly been made.
Then it gets interesting starting with #11, and pretty much stays that way through #42.