FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
There are plenty of contenders, but San Francisco might become the first major American city without a daily newspaper. The San Francisco Chronicle continues to lay off staffers in an attempt to stay afloat. The city's mayor, Gavin Newsom tells the British magazine The Economist that if the newspaper does disappear, "People under 30 won't even notice."
The mayor's office later clarified those comments, saying Newsom was talking about the physical version of the paper; and that lots of young people get their news online, like on the San Francisco Chronicle's web site.
And that's exactly the point. The internet and the recession are threatening the survival of newspapers around the country. As they see fewer advertising dollars coming in, more personnel including reporters get laid off.
Several cities have already lost the print versions of a daily newspaper; like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Denver's Rocky Mountain News. And the health of even larger newspapers - including The New York Times - has been called into question.
The Economist asks whether it matters if the daily newspaper is killed. After all, technological change has destroyed lots of popular products, and we've survived. But news isn't just a product; in a democracy, the press exists to investigate and criticize the government.
And local newspapers are the best source of aggressive reporting on local issue - school boards, municipal courts, city councils and the like.
Nonetheless, the end of the daily newspaper wouldn't necessarily mean the end of news organizations. Instead they'll have to find a business model that works online. Right now, most online news content is free. That doesn't pay the bills either.
Here’s my question to you: Would you notice if your daily newspaper disappeared?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Shawn from Chicago writes:
Jack, I live in Chicago and work for a major dot-com. I never read the print edition of the Sun-Times or the Tribune; I read them online. I subscribe to the Sunday edition of the Trib only as a form of habit (it usually ends up in the recycling bin). I wouldn't notice at all if these two institutions shut down their printed versions because so many of the young people in this city read their news online or on their mobile devices on their way to the office.
Hell yes I would notice. I'm a Tribune Co. employee and I've been watching colleagues disappear for years in what the company calls "cost cutting". They're going to cut us right onto the unemployment line. You can catch me on I-95 picking up cans any day now.
No, I wouldn't miss them. The way of the future is in some version of iTunes for the news networks. Maybe charge 25 cents per story. Everything will be online eventually. You cannot outrun technology.
Unfortunately for me, the physical daily newspaper has long been replaced by the online version. While I may miss the smell and filth of the actual item, I can still get the news I want. However, I lament the disappearance of the daily newspapers in this country. They have become an unforeseen casualty in the war of technologies.
Pat from Canada writes:
I can't imagine not having a daily newspaper – editorials, letters, sports updates, crossword puzzles, recipes, fashion, etc.
Art from Mississippi writes:
Sorry, Jack, I wouldn't notice. And at just short of 45, I'm not exactly a part of the Z generation, or whatever this year’s crop is called. My parents have repeatedly subscribed to it for us for years now, and I repeatedly ask them to save their money.
Bobby from Baltimore writes:
Jack, What's a newspaper? Never mind, I'll go on the internet and look it up!