Sunday, June 19, 2011

Patrick’s Saturday Six Episode 375

1. Where do you get the majority of your news: from the newspaper, the radio, the television or online?

The vast majority of my news I get online. Major stories I will usually first hear about as people comment on them in my Twitter feed.

2. Do you currently have a newspaper subscription that includes an actual paper delivery?

No. We occasionally buy a newspaper on Sunday if we see it has a bunch of coupons, but even those we are starting get online more.

3. What is usually the first website you visit in the morning?

Twitter. If you don’t consider that a website, and I can understand why you wouldn’t, then Google Reader.

4. Who is your favorite network news anchor?

I haven’t watched network news in years but I always liked Bill Sharpe and Dan Rather.

5. Who is your least favorite network news anchor?

Again, I haven’t watched in years, but I was never particularly fond of the narrative of Tom Brokaw, or Dean Stevens.

6. If newspapers converted to web-only sites, eliminating the physical paper, even at newsstands, would this bother you at all?

This wouldn’t bother me in the least, and I’m fairly certain its an inevitable event. Readership has been declining for years, and at some point advertisers will stop seeing a good return on their advertising dollars. Already many newspapers have closed or merged with larger operations to better defray costs. Even Charleston used to be able to support two papers, The Evening Post and the News and Courier. But they merged years ago into the Post and Courier.

News seems to move faster now and we have ways of keeping up with a story in near real time. The newspaper industry has been slow to adapt and adjust to changing technologies and the changing ways people get their news. It’s a tired analogy, but I think of the train industry. They came to believe they were in the business of moving trains, much like the newspaper industry came to believe they were in the business of selling paper, while what they really did was provide a service, either moving freight or disseminating news.

People don’t realize or don’t care the news was actually subsidized by advertisers. After so many years of getting news for ‘free’, it will be a difficult adjust to get people to decide to pay for their news through pay walls and the like.

No comments: