Where is the Newspaper Survival Coalition?

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The 150 year paper of record for Denver, the Rocky Mountain News, officially went under this week. For some reason, this one hits me as historically significant. I envision the nascent days of the paper, marking the birth of civilization via the printed word in a virgin mountain state.

CNN details the demise, and it’s worth checking out the final edition online (thick with irony, I know) and its retrospective section. The dominoes are falling, as CNN notes:

Newspapers across the country are under pressure as readership declines, along with advertising revenue, while more and more Americans get their information online.

This week, the San Francisco Chronicle announced it was in danger of being sold or closed if it doesn’t stop bleeding millions. Officials from the Hearst Corp., owners of the Chronicle, said the paper lost $50 million in 2008 and is on pace to lose more this year.

The roster of failing newspapers is getting pretty long at this point, and it makes me wonder why these are being presented as isolated cases of failure. Sure, the reasons (bad economy Internet) are always the same, but where is the Survival Coalition? Where is the Band of Ink Brothers working to adapt the medium and the business model?

It’s clear that fighting the tide alone simply does not work. In the same way I want to see think tanks working on the economy, climate change, and education, I want to see newspapers get together, figure it out and stay relevant.

This is a sidestep from the pure cynicism I’ve held for the past couple of years, an attitude rooted in the acknowledgment that the online world is far superior to the traditional newspaper model. I stand by that, but while before today I took some satisfaction in the slow dissolution of an antiquated industry, consider this my change of heart.

Do I have a solution? Of course not. But with a wild swing that demonstrates my clear emotional instability…I’m pulling for these guys.

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2 Responses to “Where is the Newspaper Survival Coalition?”

  1. Kindle lessons from future me « Says:

    […] on end, because I’ve read them all online before they reach me in the mail. This is their well-documented business quandary; tangible delivery methods replaced by ease of Internet […]

  2. Print media comes out swinging « Says:

    […] which is admirable — and we applaud the industry for finally taking its cue from this blog (Where is the Newspaper Survival Coalition?).  As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the campaign is being led by Time Warner’s Time […]

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