Newspapers are Just Fine, With or Without Blogs
Newspapers have been around for centuries. For as long as there has been a printing press, there have been newspapers, or the equivalent thereof. People need their news in a professional, objective sense. On any given day, you can find people on trains, planes and in automobiles (hopefully not while driving, though I have seen that too) reading the paper.
Newspapers are a necessary part of society, and that is not bound to change anytime soon, because despite the uptake in online news consumption, people still love the paper.
The online media world is, for better or for worse, gauged in large degree, by the findings of Technorati. Technorati has been known over the years to release their annual “State of the Blogosphere” report which documents, sometimes gleefully, the ascension of blogs. In recent years, they have made a solid effort at refining the metrics around their reporting, most recently to gauge Attention Index, a metric designed to evaluate the interconnection of blogs and non-blog sources.
In the April, 2009 Attention Index report, 8 of the top 10 sites (blogs, social media sites and traditional media sources) are traditional media organizations. In this group are: The New York Times, the Guardian, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Telegraph.co.uk, CNN, and Reuters.
It is clear that the newspaper industry, despite a turndown in economic conditions and the ongoing ascension of blogs, retains it’s rightful place in this world.
Additionally, the newspaper world provides a unique perspective not generally seen with blogs – a local interest, with a local focus. Certainly some newspapers (maybe even most) carry a national or international flair as well, but the Maryland section of the Baltimore Sun, as an example, is something that can really be provided most effectively by a local newspaper.
The reporter in the local newsroom carries more ability to cover the news of the local area, in both resources, time and diligence, than even the most local blogger can usually effectively do on their own.
The newspaper stands on it’s own as an important part of the news cycle. It is certainly not the only one, and to juxtapose an all or nothing summary judgement on the paper is unfair.