From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
"How to Save Your Newspaper: A Modest Proposal.” That's the cover story of TIME magazine this week. In it, Walter Isaacson – former managing editor of Time and the current CEO of the Aspen Institute – as well as my former boss here at CNN – writes how the crisis in journalism has reached meltdown proportions. He says we can now imagine a time when some big cities will no longer have a newspaper, saying that last year more people in this country got their news online for free than paid for it by buying newspapers and magazines.
News outlets now primarily rely on advertising revenue and not on newsstand sales and subscriptions.
Isaacson describes how news outlets now primarily rely on advertising revenue and not on newsstand sales and subscriptions. He says that in order for newspapers to survive they will have to charge for content by way of subscriptions. He also suggests introducing an easy payment system – like how people buy songs on i-Tunes or use an EZ pass.
It's clear that with the decline of advertising dollars, newspapers are in deep trouble. Publisher McClatchy reported a $21.7 million loss for the fourth quarter. It says it plans to cut about $100 million this year, it's unclear how much of that will come in the form of layoffs. Other companies like the New York Times, Gannett and Lee Enterprises have already reported lower profits in that same quarter. And, Rupert Murdoch's giant media conglomerate News Corp posted its biggest ever quarterly net loss this week, taking a write-down of $8.4 billion.
The CEO of another struggling company, the Sun-Times Media Group, says he'll resign at the end of the month – after the company announced last month it would close a dozen of its weekly papers and ask union workers to take a pay cut.
Here’s my question to you: How important is it to save America's newspapers?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Steve from Florida writes:
That's kind of a tricky question. With the almost instantaneous transfer and availability of information on the internet, a breaking headline is old news before they even turn the press on. Then, of course, that headline becomes a "breaking" story for a week or two on cable news. What I think is important to save is honest, unbiased, in-depth reporting no matter what format. Anybody still doing that?
Jim from Chicago writes:
Essential. There is a huge difference between an informed opinion and just forming an opinion. Newspapers are a critical source of information, particularly about local issues.
Not too long ago, we used the teletype ticker tape. It was essential for many functions, such as tracking landing and takeoff of aircraft or keeping tabs on the stock market. The teletype is a symbol of what will become of newspapers as we know them now. The electronic media is sweeping across the board, eliminating old technologies and industries. By eliminating my newspaper subscription, I've been able to upgrade my internet services and communications.
David in Orlando writes:
Unfortunately our society is leaving behind many of the values that kept us safe and free. With all due respect to the electronic media of all sorts, it is the quick, easy access to info without sufficient standards of accuracy that have helped to get us into this situation. There was a time when a newspaper article was well-researched and fact-checked and was therefore a dependable source of accurate information… Today, TV news has often had its various faces slathered in egg because of the misguided desire to be first rather than right. And the internet is ten times worse than that. But none of it matters; newspapers as we knew them are dinosaurs.
Maurice from Two Rivers, Wisconsin writes:
Absolutely essential to our freedom. No Bias, no Bull.