Look, there’s no question that a fundamental restructuring is taking place in a number of dimensions.
Part of that involves a consumer preference shift from print to digital. Part of that involves an explosion of sources and choices that knocks the local newspaper out of the nonlocal information business. Part of it involves product disintegration — especially classifieds from news, but also news itself being ripped apart.
Those changes will present huge challenges and demand painful choices going forward, and both the print and digital product lines of local newspapers will have to adapt, along with all of the people who produce those products.
But that doesn’t roll up to a “newspapers are dead” conclusion. There is tremendous demand for local media, both from the people we usually and falsely call “consumers,” and the businesses that we often call “advertisers.” The solutions that work to meet that demand will change. Some companies will fail to change and will die, and others will step in. We can be sure that the future won’t be like the past, but that doesn’t mean there is no future.
And that’s before we even get to e-paper…