Monday, November 17, 2008

How about a bailout for newspapers?

Since Congress is handing out checks to the banking industry, the housing industry, the financial services industry and the auto industry, how about some help for the struggling newspaper industry?

I just thought I'd ask.

Phil Heron, the editor of The Delaware County Daily & Sunday Times, writes about tough times facing newspapers in his latest column.

Heron writes:
We find ourselves under siege on all sides. Advertising is down. Way down. Revenues continue to decline. So does readership. The industry is struggling as readers move increasingly to the Internet as a source of news.

Of course, we also feature a Web site, but the print version we distribute each day remains the backbone of our financial model.

There are those who believe that newspapers are dinosaurs, that we are in the waning days of print. I'm still not sure I agree completely with that point of view. We have our challenges, there is little doubt of that.

But I also believe we continue to play an important role, in particular in our watchdog role over government.

But the numbers do not lie. Fewer and fewer people pick up the newspaper each day. That is especially true of young people, who clearly have not been ingrained with the habit of a daily newspaper, as I learned from my parents. They are much more inclined to get their news online.

It is not a particularly appealing picture. It makes you wonder about the future, about the newspaper’s role in it, maybe "if" the newspaper has a role in it.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

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