Friday, March 25, 2011

Big Newspapers and Their Struggle to Survive

The newspaper industry has been in a downward spiral since the availability of news on the internet, creating a greater competition to survive. Many newspapers can't survive as subscriptions plummet and news seekers resort to more interesting news sites. 

When the mainstream newspaper, Hartford Courant, bought, the alternative newspaper, Hartford Advocate it not only gained revenue from their readers, but became their "big bother." 

A New York Times article stated: 

 '''This is the other shoe people have been waiting for,' said Abe Peck, an associate dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, who is an authority on the underground press of the 1960's. 'The alternative is now the mainstream. The alternative press emerged as a voice beyond the massified downtown dailies. Now, we're just talking about an alternative tone.'"

Many fear the newspapers was silencing their competition. They can control the content just like a corporation buying an alternative newspaper or website. Recently we have seen AOL buying Huffington Post. News gathers question whether Huffington Post should still be considered alternative. And its true, how can we really know if the site pumping out talking points or providing the same content as before? 

Newspapers and other media sites need to figure out a model to make money. Whether charge annually or by number of articles to access their site like The New York Times is considering. 

The Hartford Courant stated they also decided to buy Hartford Advocate to target 18-35 year olds. From hearing what my friends look at for news daily it is mainly independent blogs, The Daily Show and other alternative news sites. Many of these mainstream newspapers are last on the list and to me it isn't a surprise. Other sites offer a different take on the issue and aren't afraid to criticize big businesses. 

If mainstream newspapers take over these alternative newspapers, then newsgathers are just going to look elsewhere. 

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