Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Imagine a day without newspapers

Oakland Tribune columnist Tammerlin Drummond recalls that a few years ago there was a movie called "A Day Without a Mexican" that showed what would happen if all of the Mexicans in the U.S. suddenly vanished. Drummond asked what would happen if, for one day, there were no newspapers.
    Just what news do you suppose would be available on the Internet without the content produced by newspapers? What would Google News have to aggregate without The Washington Post, The New York Times and other newspapers from around the world?

    I'm speaking of content produced by real, boots-on-the-ground reporters. Not bloggers whose specialty is commenting on what's already been reported elsewhere. Or experts in their fields who are blogging based on their own in-depth knowledge of some niche specialty like taxidermy. ...

    Hyperlocal is the new buzz word. Just as "neighborhood news" was back when I started in journalism in the mid-1980s.

    Yet for all the hoopla, I have yet to see a hyperlocal news site with a business model for turning even a modest profit. Most are struggling, and some such as the Chi-Town Daily News have crashed and burned."

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